Get Fit in 8 Weeks: The Ultimate Couch to 5K Plan

Yasso 800 Workout

Getting into running can be challenging,, especially if you’re out of shape. But fear not! The Couch to 5K plan is the perfect thing you need to get started on the running path. It’s like a gateway drug to a healthier lifestyle.

Sure, there are thousands of C25K plans available online, but who has the time to sort through all that information?

In this article, I’ll cover all the basics, from what exactly the Couch to 5K program entails to how long it takes to complete and whether or not it actually works (spoiler alert: it does!). I’l even share the secret to its success.

That’s not the whole story. I’ll also show you how to improve your fitness and even answer the age-old question: “Will I lose weight with the Couch to 5K plan?”

I’ll also dive into the many benefits of the program, provide you with a C25K schedule, and answer common questions like, “Can I do the Couch to 5K on a treadmill?”

Lace up your shoes, and let’s dive into the world of Couch to 5K.

Note – In case the C25K plan seems too easy for you, check out my more challenging Couch to 10K plan.

What’s The Couch to 5K Program?

Have you heard of the Couch to 5K plan?

It’s the magical program that can take you from sofa slob to 5K superstar in just a few months! Yes, you read that right, just a few months!

The couch to 5K program, also known as C25K or Sofa to 5K, has helped countless people go from non-runners to crossing the finish line of their first 5K.

What is the goal of the couch to 5K plan? To guide you toward running 3.1 miles on the road, track, trail, or even on a treadmill. Imagine your body as a house and the Couch to 5K plan as the foundation.  Think of the couch to 5K plan as building a strong foundation is essential for a stable house, a solid cardio base is essential for a strong and healthy body

The Origins

Back in the 1990s, Josh Clark created the original Couch to 5K plan for his 50-something mom. He then shared it on a blog called Cool Running, and it spread like wildfire around the internet. Sadly, the blog is no longer active (it was acquired by for an undisclosed amount), but the program lives on!

Over the past 25 years, countless running blogs have copied and tinkered with the original plan, creating eight and 16-week versions and more. Want to see a 9-week version? Check out the one I’ve included in this article.

But wait, there’s more! In 2016, the Couch to 5K plan was adapted into a free app known as C25K, becoming one of the most popular fitness apps out there.

That’s not the whole story. The couch to 5K plan has also been adapted by the National Health Service in the UK as part of their plan to curb the rising rates of obesity and improve overall health.

Here are more versions

How Long Does it Take to Finish the Couch to 5K Plan?

Wondering how long does it take to Finish the Couch to 5K plan? I hate to break it to you but varies since it depends on your starting point and endurance level.

The initial C25K plan and the NHS Couch to 5K programs take around nine weeks to finish. But if you’re like me, and your idea of cardio is running when late for work, it might take you a bit longer. Don’t worry, though. It’s not a race, and nobody’s handing out medals for the fastest time.

My plan has eight weeks, but feel free to adjust it according to your own needs and preferences. Just don’t go too easy on yourself, or you’ll be sipping margaritas on the Couch instead of running a 5K.

Remember, progress at your own pace. If you feel like you have to repeat a week or two, that’s okay. You’re still lapping everyone on the Couch. And really, isn’t that what matters the most? The rest is just gravy. Delicious, calorie-laden gravy.

Couch to 5K planDoes The Couch To 5K plan actually work?

Are you curious to know if the Couch to 5K plan really works? Well, let me tell you, it definitely does! It’s like magic, but with sneakers.

Millions of beginners have completed the sofa to 5K program, and you can too! It’s the perfect plan to turn your running dreams into reality, even if you’re a total newbie.

My girlfriend was always averse to exercise and would often joke that the only running she did was to catch the bus. But after trying the Couch to 5K plan the way I’m laying it out in today’s, she became hooked on running and now goes for regular jogs on the beach.

That’s when I felt the need for the Couch to 5K plan. Even though I was an experienced runner, the plan helped me ease back into running and rebuild my stamina..

The Benefits of Couch to 5K Plan

The C25K plan takes all the guesswork out of the equation. You don’t have to be a running guru to figure out what to do next because the plan spells it out for you. All you need to do is follow the instructions, and voila! You’re on your way to becoming a runner.

What’s more?

One of the great things about the Couch to 5K plan is that it’s flexible and can be adapted to your individual needs. For example, if you have bad knees or prefer low-impact exercise, you can modify the workouts to include more walking and less running.

On the typical couch to 5K plan, you’ll be training three times per week, around 30 to 40 minutes each session.  But feel free to take an extra day off if you’re feeling tired or overtrained.

In the first week, you’ll do a series of short, one-minute jogs separated by 90 seconds of walking breaks. It’s easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Then, in the second week, you’ll tack on an extra 30 seconds to each jogging interval while adding full minutes of walking breaks in between. See? It’s not so scary after all!

The program builds up gradually as you become stronger and more capable, so you’ll always feel like the next target is within reach. By the end of the nine-week plan, you’ll be running for a full 30 minutes without breaking a sweat.

Okay, maybe a little bit of sweat, but you get the point.

This structured training approach is perfect for beginners because it gives you enough time to catch your breath and adjust to the demands of running. So, if you’re ready to ditch the Couch and hit the road, the Couch to 5K plan is the way to go. Let’s do this!

I’ve Never Ran Before. Will I be able to improve?

The C25K plan is perfect for folks like you who want to start running but have no idea where to begin.

Now, listen up because this is important: take it slow. I’m talking turtle-paced. Don’t push yourself too hard, or you might end up with an injury that’ll have you cursing the day you ever thought about running.

What’s more?

When it comes to injuries, consult before starting on a new fitness plan, especially if you have any medical conditions. I want you to stay safe and healthy while you’re chasing those running goals!

Will I Lose Weight With The Couch to 5K Schedule?

Yes, running can definitely help you shed those extra pounds, but it’s not a magic pill.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s no shortcut to fitness!

The truth is that forming a running habit doesn’t automatically make you lose weight. There are other variables that go into it, such as your nutrition, sleep, hormones, microbiome, stress levels, etc.

So if you run for 60 minutes, then get home, and stuff your mouth with junk food because you feel stressed at work and aren’t sleeping well, you’re not going to shed many pounds.

How Far is A 5K In Miles

How far is a 5K in miles? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s 3.1 miles, my friend.

That’s like running the length of 45 football fields, or 45 laps around a baseball diamond, or the length of an NBA basketball court over 174 times.

Whew, that’s a lot of running!

The Average 5K Pace

And just in case you’re curious, the average 5K pace is around 11 minutes per mile for men and 13 minutes per mile for women. But hey, don’t compare yourself to others..

Check the chart below for more:

Get the full scope here.

Can I do The Couch to 5K Program on A Treadmill?

If you’re wondering whether you can follow the C25K program on a treadmill, fear not! It’s like having a trusty sidekick to guide you on your running journey.

In fact, running on a treadmill can be a great way to ease into the program without the added stress of outdoor elements.

I’ve put together a full Couch to 5K treadmill guide here, explaining how to make the most out of the indoor running as a beginner.

Where To Find Couch To 5K Groups Near Me?

I’d recommend googling “couch to 5K groups near me” and checking Facebook or your local Council pages. You’ll find one, as there are lots of C25K groups out there.

How To Train For your First 5K

Are you ready to lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement? T

raining for your first 5K can be an exciting and intimidating experience, but fear not! With the right strategies in place, you’ll be crossing that finish line in no time.

Warm-up & Cool Down

Think of your body as a high-performance race car – you wouldn’t take it on the track without first warming it up, right? The same goes for your body before a run. A proper warm-up gets your engine revving, increases blood flow, and lowers the risk of injury.

So, what’s the ideal warm-up sequence?

Jog slowly for at least five minutes, then perform a set of dynamic stretches. Avoid static stretching before exercise, as research has shown that it may hinder performance and cause injury.

For a full guide to proper warm-ups, check my article here. Or check the following YouTube tutorial.

But don’t forget the cool-down! Take some time to walk or jog at a slower pace, taking deep breaths to regulate your heart rate.

Stretching is also a crucial part of any runner’s routine. Think of it like maintaining your car – you want to keep everything running smoothly and avoid any breakdowns. Focus on stretching out those key running muscles, like the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Here are three of my favorite post-run stretching routines.

Routine 1

Routine 2

Listen to Your Body

Running a 5K is no easy feat, and I won’t blame you if you want to give it your best to achieve your goals. But if you do too much too soon, you might end up doing more harm than good.

So what’s my best advice?

Simple.  Ditch the the “no pain, no gain” mentality and start paying attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel any weakness, sharp pain, or lightheadedness while running, it’s a warning sign that you need to slow down.

I hate to sound like a broken record but think of your body like a car – you wouldn’t drive it at full speed all the time without regular maintenance and checkups, right? Your body needs the same care and attention. Pushing through nagging discomfort might seem like the tough thing to do, but it’s not worth it if you end up with a serious injury.

Instead, take a step back and reassess. Maybe you need to adjust your training plan or incorporate more rest days.

Additional resource – How to promote a 5K

Eat Well

Food is fuel. Accordingly, the main objective of eating should be to fuel you up, not to fill you up.

I keep saying this because it’s so true.

We are, after all, what we eat.

What you eat can either make you a faster runner or slow you down like nothing else, so pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth.

Check out the following post on how to maximize your nutrition.

Don’t Neglect Recovery

Recovering after training is like taking a sweet nap after a long day’s work. Just like you wouldn’t skip out on some much-needed rest after a long day, don’t skimp on recovery after a tough workout.

Trust me; your body will thank you for it.

It’s like the old saying goes, “Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.” And that’s so true when it comes to running. Overtraining is like trying to fit a whole cake in your mouth at once. Sure, it might seem like a good idea at first, but you’ll quickly regret it when you’re left with a mouthful of crumbs and a bellyache.

And if you do start feeling some discomfort, don’t be a hero. It’s like trying to push a square peg into a round hole – it’s just not going to work out. Take a step back, reassess, and adjust accordingly. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect race time.

Build Strength

Listen up, fellow runners! If you want to achieve a racing experience that goes beyond just finishing the race, then you need to start building a strong foundation. And no, we’re not talking about a house here.

I’m talking about building total-body strength that will support you as you run mile after mile. It’s like having a team of little helpers holding you up and saying, “You got this, buddy!” Even when fatigue tries to take over.

So, let’s get to work! You need to be hitting those total-body strength workouts at least a couple of times a week.

And guess what? Building strength doesn’t only improve your running form and efficiency, but it can also help you run faster and farther with less fatigue.

The  Couch To 5K Plan In 8 Weeks

During the first couple of weeks, you’ll jog for 15 to 30 seconds, then walk for a minute or two. It’s like playing a game of red light, green light, but with your legs.

As you progress through the program, you’ll be jogging more and walking less, building up your endurance and stamina until you can run for over three miles without stopping.

And don’t worry about fitting it into your schedule. You only need to commit to three days a week. That’s like giving your body a well-deserved break on the other days.

The 8 weeks Couch to 5K plan

Sofa to 5K – The Conclusion

Congratulations! You now have all the tools necessary to conquer your first 5K in just two months or less with our Sofa to 5K plan.

Remember, the key to success is consistency and dedication.

Follow the plan, trust the process, and don’t give up.

Your body and mind will thank you for it. If you have any questions or want to share your progress, drop a comment below.

I’m rooting for you!

Keep pushing yourself and remember, the greatest achievements often come from taking that first step. Happy running!.

What Is Underpronation? Understanding the Mechanics of Supination in Running

picture of underpronation

Have you ever come across the terms underpronation or supination and wondered what they actually mean? Well, today is your lucky day because we’re about to dive deep into the world of underpronation and uncover why it has some folks concerned.

Okay, let’s break it down. Underpronation, also known as supination, is a fancy way of describing how your foot behaves when you’re pounding the pavement. It’s like a secret language that only your feet speak, and i’m here to translate it for you.

Now, why is underpronation considered a potential troublemaker? The plot thickens! When you underpronate, it means that the outer edge of your foot bears the brunt of the impact while you’re striding along. It’s like your foot is a diva, hogging all the attention and leaving the other parts hanging. And you know what happens when divas take over the stage? Chaos!

So, here comes the burning question: why is underpronation considered a “bad” thing? Well, when your foot doesn’t absorb shock properly, it can put extra stress on certain areas, like your ankles, shins, and feet. It’s like throwing a wild party but forgetting to invite the bouncers. Things can get rowdy, and injuries might crash the party.

But fear not! Today I’ll provide with the tools you need to handle underpronation like a pro.

Are you excited? Let’s get started.

Underpronation Meaning

So, what exactly is pronation? Picture this: as you walk or run, your ankles engage in a mesmerizing rolling-in motion, and your arches gracefully flatten out to absorb the shock of each step.

Believe it or not, some level of pronation is crucial for optimal biomechanics. Studies show that ideally, we should experience around 15% roll-in collapse at the ankles to ensure proper shock distribution while moving around.

But here’s the fascinating part: every one of us pronates, but in different degrees. Think of it as a personal pronation fingerprint—a unique marker that sets you apart from the running crowd. Some folks may pronate a little more, while others keep it subtle. It’s this diversity that adds flavor to our running experiences.

Now, let’s shine a spotlight on the troublemaker of the pronation world—overpronation. When the pendulum swings too far and our ankles collapse excessively, it’s like a dramatic opera reaching its climax. The arches of our feet may suffer, leading to flat feet and potential issues in our hips, knees, and, of course, those delicate ankles.

But today, our focus is on the opposite end of the pronation spectrum—underpronation, or as it’s also known, supination. It’s like flipping the script and exploring the uncharted territories of foot mechanics. Underpronation comes with its own set of challenges, and boy, are we ready to dive into them!

Under Pronation Defined

Ah, supination—underpronation’s alter ego. It’s like a secret identity, revealing itself through the intricate positioning of your feet.

Imagine your foot as a skilled acrobat, gracefully landing on the ground during each stride. In a perfect world, it would perform a slight inward roll, distributing your body weight evenly and finding balance on the heel. From there, it would propel you forward, pushing off with precision from the mighty big toe.

But alas, the supinator’s tale is a different one. Instead of embracing the natural order of things, their feet rebel, refusing to roll inward as they should. Instead of resting their body weight on the ball of the foot, they rely on the outer edge, and it’s the toes that bear the burden of propulsion.

This peculiar foot positioning is what we call supination. It’s like a delicate balance disrupted, as the outer edge of the foot takes center stage. But here’s the catch—it’s not just a quirk of movement. It can cause a world of trouble for runners and athletes engaging in high-impact sports.

Picture this: with each stride, the weight of your body pounds down on the outer edge of your foot, particularly on the pinky side. Over time, this constant stress can lead to a host of problems, affecting your performance and overall foot health.

Now, let’s explore the factors that can contribute to supination. One of the main culprits is having naturally high-arching feet. It’s like having the deck stacked against you from the start—a genetic predisposition that tilts the odds in favor of supination. But wait, there’s more! Muscle imbalances in the lower leg can also throw a curveball, disrupting the delicate balance of pronation and supination. And let’s not forget about the role of footwear—the wrong shoes can be like a mismatched dance partner, pushing you further into the realm of under pronation.

But here’s the silver lining—awareness is the first step towards finding a solution. By understanding the causes of supination, you can take proactive measures to address the issue.

The Issues of A Supinator Runner

the consequences of under pronation—like a domino effect, one misstep can set off a chain reaction of discomfort and challenges. Brace yourself as we explore the various conditions that may arise from this elusive foot positioning.

First up, we have the mighty knee pain, a formidable foe that can hobble even the most determined of runners. With each stride, the improper distribution of forces places undue stress on the knees, leading to aches, soreness, and potential long-term damage.

But wait, there’s more! Ankle sprains lurk around the corner, like mischievous tricksters waiting to catch you off guard. The lack of natural inward rolling of the foot during the gait makes the ankles vulnerable to sudden twists and turns, increasing the risk of sprains and strains.

And let’s not forget about the telltale signs of trouble—the swelling of the ankle or foot. It’s like a red flag, waving frantically to signal that something is amiss. The improper alignment of forces places excessive pressure on specific areas, resulting in unwanted puffiness and discomfort.

But wait, there’s a twist to this tale—lower back pain enters the scene, like an unwelcome visitor crashing the party. The altered mechanics of under pronation can throw off the natural alignment of the body, placing strain on the lower back. It’s like a ripple effect, with pain radiating from the feet all the way up the spinal column.

Now, let’s turn our attention to a condition that brings pain to the soles—the notorious plantar fasciitis. This arch enemy is the inflammation of the sole, causing sharp, stabbing pains that can leave you limping in agony. The repetitive stress placed on the plantar fascia due to under pronation is like a relentless bombardment, weakening the tissues and setting the stage for this painful condition.

But wait, there’s more trouble brewing—the formation of calluses, those hardened patches of skin that serve as a painful reminder of the ongoing battle. The abnormal distribution of forces creates friction and pressure points, leading to the formation of these unsightly and uncomfortable patches.

And let’s not overlook the plight of our dear toes. Hammertoes and clawed toes make an appearance. The imbalanced forces exerted on the toes during push-off can result in these deformities, adding yet another layer of discomfort to the mix.

But wait, we’re not done yet—running bunions make their presence known, like unwelcome guests crashing the party. The relentless pressure on the outer edge of the foot during under pronation can cause the development of painful bunions, impacting not only your comfort but also your running performance.

And finally, let’s shine a light on the infamous shin splints, like sharp jabs of pain that can leave you gasping for breath. The altered mechanics of under pronation can place excessive stress on the shins, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

The Main Signs Of a Supinator Runner

Ah, the telltale signs of excessive supination—the secret language of your worn-out shoes, whispering tales of your unique running style.

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of shoe wear patterns and unravel the clues they hold.

Assess Your Running Shoes for Supination

Imagine your used running shoes laid out before you on a table, like artifacts from a well-traveled adventurer. I’ll embark on a visual expedition to decipher the story etched into the rubber.

Begin your investigation by directing your gaze towards the back of the heels, like a detective searching for elusive clues. Examine the wear and tear on the outer edge, the lateral portion of the shoes. If you spot significant signs of battle on this side, it’s a strong indicator that you may indeed be an underpronator.

You see, as a supinator, your foot makes its grand entrance on the outer edge of the heel, like a daring acrobat landing on a tightrope. But here’s the catch—the foot fails to perform its inward roll, leaving the force of impact concentrated on this precise spot. It’s as if the weight of the world is squarely resting on the outside of your foot, demanding attention.

And what about the forefoot, you ask? Ah, that’s where the second act of this shoe-wearing drama unfolds. Just behind the toes, you’ll notice additional wear and tear in this area. It’s as if the stage is set for a vibrant performance, with each push-off and toe-off leaving its mark. The forefoot bears witness to the intensity of your supination, like a canvas displaying the brushstrokes of your unique running style.

But wait, let’s bring in the supporting cast—research papers, studies, and experts—to solidify our findings. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science, a high correlation exists between excessive supination and wear patterns on the lateral aspect of running shoes. The data speaks volumes, providing scientific validation to our visual inspection.

Check Your Foot Print

To do the classic foot print test, gather your tools: water to wet the soles of your feet and a flat surface that will capture the truth of your footprints.

With anticipation, step onto the stage—preferably a piece of sturdy cardboard or thick paper. Allow your feet to make their mark, leaving behind a trail of secrets and revelations.

Now, take a moment to examine the imprints left by your feet. Are they mere footprints, or do they hold deeper insights into your foot type? Let your eyes wander to the arch—the mystical bridge that connects the forefoot to the rest of your sole.

For those blessed with a normal amount of pronation and healthy arches, behold the arch’s appearance—a visible curvature, gracefully connecting to the forefoot by a strip that spans roughly 1-2 times the width of the foot on the outside of the sole. It’s as if the arch confidently reveals itself.

But what if your arch is shrouded in mystery, barely visible, or even absent altogether? Ah, my friend, you may have stumbled upon a clue—a sign of high arches, a possible indicator of underpronation. It’s like finding a rare gem hidden in the sands of the beach—a discovery that sets you on a path of self-awareness.

Additional Resource – Overpronation vs Underpronation

Tight Achilles and Calves

Tightness of the calf muscles tends to reinforce the movement pattern caused by under pronation, which, in turn, magnifies the effect of supination.

This usually results in plantar fasciitis, which is a common overuse injury that manifests as sharp pain or aches along the arch of the foot or in the middle of the heel.

How to Deal With Under pronation While Running

Don’t fret, for there is a glimmer of hope shining through the cloud of underpronation. It’s time to roll up your sleeves (or should I say lace up your shoes) and take action to ease your woes.

Here are some measures you can embrace right now to find relief.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the power of strength training. 

But where should you focus your strengthening efforts? Let’s dive into the critical areas that will provide the stability you seek. Direct your attention to your ankles, feet, and hips.

Imagine your ankle as a pillar of strength, unwavering and resilient. Strengthen it with targeted exercises that will enhance its stability and endurance. And don’t forget your feet—they deserve some love too.

By engaging in exercises that target the muscles within your feet, you’ll build a solid foundation that can withstand the challenges of underpronation.

But wait, there’s more! We can’t neglect the mighty hip muscles. These powerhouses play a vital role in maintaining balance and proper alignment. Strengthening your hip muscles will contribute to the stability of your entire kinetic chain.

Now, let me share with you some exercises that will help you on your quest for strength:

  • Lunges: Imagine yourself lunging forward, like a fearless explorer venturing into uncharted territory. This exercise engages multiple muscle groups and builds strength from the ground up.
  • Calf Raises: Rise up on your tiptoes, defying gravity like a ballet dancer in mid-air. Calf raises target the inner calf muscles, rebalancing the forces within your lower leg and enhancing stability.
  • Crab Crawls: Channel your inner crab as you scuttle sideways, working those hip muscles. It’s a quirky and fun exercise that will bring a smile to your face while strengthening your body.
  • Squats: Ah, the classic squat—a foundational move that builds strength and stability throughout your lower body. Sink down low, like a seasoned weightlifter, and rise up with power and control.

These exercises, my supinating friend, are your allies in the battle against underpronation. Embrace them with enthusiasm and incorporate them into your training routine. But remember, every superhero needs guidance.

Consider consulting a certified professional—a coach, physical therapist, or experienced runner—who can provide expert advice and ensure you’re performing these exercises with proper form and technique.

Underpronation Running Shoes

When it comes to addressing supination, choosing the right pair of shoes is like finding the perfect dance partner—they need to be flexible, lightweight, and oh-so-comfortable.

Experts in the field strongly advocate for flexible and lightweight running shoes for those who tend to underpronate. Picture these shoes as nimble companions, allowing your feet to move freely and naturally with each stride. They provide that extra flexibility and cushioning to counter the challenges posed by supination.

But hold your horses! Before you embark on a shopping spree, I must urge you to seek wisdom from the wise—a podiatrist. These foot wizards will guide you to the most suitable shoe type for your unique supination needs. Trust me, their expertise can make all the difference in finding your perfect sole mate.

And here’s a friendly reminder for you: don’t wait until your shoes are hanging by a thread before replacing them. It’s essential to bid farewell to your trusty steeds before they’re drastically worn on the outer side. Think of it as bidding adieu to an old friend who has served you well but is now ready to retire.

To navigate the vast world of running shoes, head to a specialty running store. These treasure troves of knowledge will provide you with expert advice and guidance to ensure you make an informed purchase. They understand the intricacies of supination and can help you find the shoe that will support and protect your unique gait.

Try Orthotics

Ah, orthotics, the unsung heroes in the battle against underpronation! These nifty inserts can provide the extra dose of support and comfort that your precious feet crave. Think of them as your foot’s personal bodyguards, ready to cushion and stabilize every step you take.

When it comes to finding the perfect orthotics for underpronation, experts emphasize the importance of cushioning and a spacious surface area. These orthotics are like little clouds for your feet, offering a soft landing and reducing the impact on your arches and heels. They work their magic by controlling the motion of your foot, ensuring it stays in the optimal alignment.

You can find underpronation-friendly inserts in stores, both physical and virtual, where they patiently wait to be chosen as your foot’s trusted ally. However, if you want to take things to the next level, consider going the custom-made route. A visit to a podiatrist can lead you to orthotics tailored specifically to your feet, taking into account your unique gait and any history of underpronation issues you may have. 

Especially if you’re a seasoned runner, logging in serious mileage and pushing your limits, investing in custom-made orthotics is a wise move. Research papers and studies have shown the potential benefits of orthotic intervention for managing underpronation and reducing associated discomfort. So why not give your feet the royal treatment they deserve?

Additional guide – Running with bunions guide

Stretch Regularly

Stretching is the key to unlocking the potential of your muscles and keeping those underpronation woes at bay! While the scientific verdict on stretching may still be inconclusive, I firmly believe in its power to prevent injuries, especially for my fellow underpronators.

Imagine your muscles as elastic bands, waiting to be stretched and primed for action. When your muscles have a full range of motion, they become flexible warriors, ready to move with efficiency and grace.

To target those areas that are often affected by underpronation, it’s crucial to incorporate specific stretches into your daily routine. Focus on your shins, calves, ankles, and Achilles, as these areas can benefit greatly from a little extra TLC. By reducing tension and increasing flexibility in these regions, you can help alleviate the strain that may contribute to supination.

Now, let’s talk about some stretches that will become your new best friends. Imagine yourself gracefully touching your toes, reaching for the sky with your quadriceps, and raising your legs like a triumphant gymnast. These stretches may seem simple, but they hold the power to release tension and improve your range of motion.

Here’s a lineup of stretches that will make your daily routine a little more flexible and exciting:

Toe Touch: Picture yourself in a blissful moment of reaching down and touching your toes, feeling the gentle stretch in your hamstrings and calves.

Quadricep Stretch: Embrace the warrior within as you stretch those mighty quadriceps, allowing them to release any tightness.

Leg Raises: Elevate your leg, raise it to new heights, and feel the gentle pull along your hamstrings. This exercise will keep your legs limber and ready for action.

Lifted Toe Step: Imagine taking confident steps forward, lifting your toes with purpose. This stretch targets your shins and ankles, helping to ease tension and promote better foot movement.

Remember, my fellow underpronators, consistency is key when it comes to stretching. Make these exercises a part of your daily routine, and you’ll gradually unlock a world of flexibility and resilience. While research papers and studies may still be exploring the full benefits of stretching, I believe in its power to keep our bodies in optimal condition

Proper Running Form

Let’s talk about the importance of proper running technique. Just as a painter needs the right brush strokes to create a masterpiece, we runners need to fine-tune our technique to address excessive underpronation.

To guide you on this journey, here are some key guidelines to help you embrace the proper running technique:

Light as a Feather: Picture yourself gracefully landing on the ground, as light and gentle as a feather. Instead of pounding your feet with excessive force, aim for a soft and delicate touch. Imagine you’re running on fragile eggshells or even on the surface of water. This imagery will encourage a light and nimble landing, reducing the impact on your feet and allowing for a smoother stride.

Midfoot Magic: Shift your focus to landing closer to the midfoot rather than striking the ground with your heel. This slight adjustment in foot placement can make a world of difference. Imagine the midfoot as your sweet spot, the point of balance where your body weight is evenly distributed, helping to alleviate the strain on the outer edge of your foot.

Short and Sweet: Lengthen your stride? Not this time! Instead, focus on shortening your stride and increasing your running cadence. This means taking more steps per minute while maintaining a quick and light tempo.  By shortening your stride, you’ll encourage a quicker turnover and reduce the stress on your feet, ankles, and legs.

Underpronation Explained  – The Conclusion

There you have it. If you tend to under pronate during the running gait, then the above guidelines are exactly what you need to help you soothe—and prevent—any potential pain or issues.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post.

Keep running strong

David D.

The 6 Amazing Effects Running Has On Your Brain

Running has plenty to offer: it boosts your metabolism, sheds mad calories, builds stamina, and helps you live a healthier and longer life.

But that’s not the whole story.

Plenty of recent research also suggests that improving your brain health and increasing your mental power are yet more reasons to lace up your shoes and grind out some serious miles.

Exercise, especially running, has been found to alter the structure and function of the brain, resulting in long-term increases in both cerebral power and longevity.

I’d go as far as to claim that running—and exercise in general—is the most scientifically proven cognitive enhancer.

In today’s post, I’ll take a look at some of the research conducted on the subject.

Are you excited?

Here we go…

1. Better Memory Function

For starters, running may help guard you against Alzheimer and other brain-related troubles, according to a study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Research that looked at roughly 153,000 runners and walkers for over a decade  concluded that runners who logged in more than 15 miles each week were 40 percent less likely to die from Alzheimer’s.

In another study reported in Perceptual and Motor Skills, subjects improved their performance on standard memory tests by up to 20 percent following a short treadmill session, compared to pre-training tests. The subjects’ ability to solve complex problems also increased by 20 percent.

2. Stress Reduction

Stress has severe adverse effects on your emotional state, behavior, and body. Negative consequences include intense headaches, chest pain, muscle tension, anger issues, weight gain, sleep problems, etc.

Here’s the good news. Thanks to the endorphins release, running is a popular stress buster, and one of the reasons so many people hit the pavement. And it’s not just anecdotes. Research conducted at the Technische Universität München (TUM), and published in the Journal of Neuroscience has put the endorphin theory to closer scrutiny.

In the research, ten subjects’ brains were scanned both before and after a two-hour long distance run using a Positron Emission Tomography (PET)—and it was revealed that their prefrontal and limbic regions secreted high amounts of endorphins.

Why this matters, you might be wondering?

Endorphins, in case you never heard about them, are one of the so-called happiness hormones that are secreted by the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

These are linked to elevated moods, and better alertness and cognitive functioning. The more endorphins released by the brain, the more significant the effect.

And apparently, running stimulates the release of these neurochemicals into the brain. A good thing if you ask me.

3. Mood Elevation

Research reported in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise revealed that runners have high levels of tryptophan, a brain biochemical that helps move messages throughout the nervous system and is in charge of many functions, including the production of mood-elevating neurotransmitters known as serotonin.

People with low serotonin levels typically suffer from insomnia, anxiety, depression, and overheating issues. Classic antidepressant medication work by keeping the levels of these neurotransmitters higher and longer in the system.

Wanna know the best part? Unlike other chemical shortcuts to happiness—medication, running does not come with a comedown.

4. Smarter Connections

Research has  revealed that exercise enhances your executive functions—or your higher level thinks skills. These include (but not limited to) mental focus, task switching, inhibitory control, etc.

As you can already tell, these skills are of the utmost importance of leading a successful life. They’re key to problem-solving, organizing, planning, and regulating behavior.

What’s more?

Running also makes you smarter as it triggers the growth of new nerve cells, neurogenesis—and blood vessels, angiogenesis. Put together, these help increase brain tissue volume, according to research conducted at the University of Maryland.

In the study, the researchers found an increase in the volume of the hippocampus—the brain region associated with learning and memory—in those who exercised regularly when compared to sedentary peers.

This may not seem as much until you realize, once again, that brain size isn’t known for increasing at any point in adulthood. We start to lose brain tissue as early as our late 20’s.

5. Faster Thinking

Do you want to be faster at solving problems and remembering things? Exercise might be what you need.

According to research published in the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, both low-intensity aerobic running, and high-intensity sprinting can enhance your capacity to learn and recall new information and vocabulary.

This is possible thanks to the increased levels of the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), and the neurotransmitter catecholamine, both heavily involved in learning and brain cognitive functions, research shows.

What’s more?

Research has also revealed that older adults with plenty of aerobic exercise experience have better white matter integrity than their non-active peers.

6. Improved Sleep

Sleep issues affect millions of adults.  Surveys reveal that roughly 50 percent of people aged 50 and older suffer from symptoms of sleep deprivation and other serious sleep disorders.

And yes, you guessed that right. Running can also help improve your sleep quality. It might even help you overcome common sleep problems.

Research backs these claims up. A study out of the Journal of Adolescent Health revealed that those who followed a regular morning running routine showed improvement in objective sleep.

A further study reported in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity revealed that subjects reported sleeping better and felt more energized during the day when getting at least 160 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise during the week.

Research has also found that regular exercise, not just running, help improve daytime alertness, regulate circadian rhythms, and faster onset of deeper sleep.

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.


There you have it. The above covers some of the most well-known and well-documented effects that running has on your brain. See, hitting the pavement can really turn you into a more productive and smarter person. And that’s a good thing if you ask me.

The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and ideas in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.

David D.

Banishing the Nightmare: How to Prevent Jogger’s Nipples While Running

Picture of joggers nipples

Looking for the ultimate guide to handling a runner’s worst nightmare – jogger’s nipples? Well, you’re in for a story, my friend.

Let me take you back a few years to a scorching hot day, right after I had completed a grueling long run.

I strolled into my living room, drenched in sweat, only to be met with my sister’s horrified expression. I glanced down at my shirt and couldn’t believe my eyes – it was stained with blood.

You guessed it, both my nipples were bleeding, and I was on the verge of panic. I mean, who wouldn’t be?

But here’s the twist: I didn’t let this gruesome encounter defeat me. Instead, I embarked on a mission to conquer the dreaded jogger’s nipples.

Fast forward through a series of Google searches and a few trial-and-error runs, and I had it all figured out.

So, if you’re tired of fearing the bloodstains and want to enjoy your runs without the crimson ordeal, stick around. You’re about to dive into the simple secrets of banishing those bloody nipples for good.

Ready? Let’s go!

Why do Nipples Bleed When Running

Let’s dive into the peculiar world of “jogger’s nipples.”

You see, this is a not-so-secret club that many male runners find themselves unwittingly joining. It’s like one of those clubs that nobody wants to be a part of, but once you’re in, you learn the ropes pretty fast.

Picture this: you’re out on a run, your heart pounding, the sun beaming down on you. You’re in the zone, but little do you know that a not-so-pleasant surprise awaits you at the finish line.

As you start running, your body goes, “Hey, time to send some blood up to the surface!” That’s right, your blood flow kicks into overdrive, making your nipples harden.

But wait, there’s more! The fabric of your trusty running shirt decides it’s the perfect time to get chummy with your chest, and that’s when the trouble starts.

The friction is real. The continuous rubbing of your nipples against the fabric, combined with the salty sweat pouring out, can lead to a not-so-glamorous outcome – bloody nipples.

Now, this isn’t your average discomfort. It starts as a stinging or burning sensation as your skin gets rubbed raw. But if you think that’s the end of it, think again. If you let this party continue, it can escalate to full-on bleeding.

But here’s the plot twist – jogger’s nipple tends to be more of a male issue. Ladies, you have a secret weapon – sports bras. As long as they provide you with adequate support, you’re usually in the clear. Lucky you, right?

Now, you might wonder, is there any scientific evidence to back up this saga of sore nips? Well, while it may not be an Oscar-worthy topic, there are studies and research papers out there that delve into the world of jogger’s nipples. They’ve explored the reasons behind it and the best ways to prevent it.

So, buckle up because we’re about to uncover the secrets of keeping your nipples safe on your runs.

Here are more resources to deepen your understanding of joggers’ nipples;

How To Stop Your Nipples From Bleeding While Running

Thankfully, dear (mostly male) readers, preventing nipple bleeding while running is easy.

Seriously, it’s super simple.

Here’s how to start your chafed nipples while running.

Runners Nipples Fix – 1.   Lubricants

First up, I’ve got the secret weapon: lubrication. Yes, you heard me right. Lubing up can be a game-changer, and I speak from personal experience.

So, how does this magic work? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Think of lubrication as your shield, your trusty sidekick on your running adventures.

When you generously apply a lubricant like Body Glide or good ol’ petroleum jelly to your nipple area (and any other spots prone to chafing, like underarms and thighs), you’re creating a protective barrier.

This barrier is like a force field that stands between your skin and your clothing, reducing the friction that can lead to chafing.

But that’s not all – lubrication has another superpower. It keeps your skin soft and moisturized, preventing it from drying out and becoming a breeding ground for irritation.

The last thing you want during a run is irritated, dried-out skin; trust me on that.

Now, when it comes to applying this lifesaving elixir, don’t be shy. Slather it on liberally, especially if you’re planning an extended run.

In fact, it’s not a bad idea to carry a small packet of your chosen lubricant with you, just in case you need a mid-run touch-up. Running and sweating can be relentless, so having a backup plan is always a good call.

Runners Nipples Fix – 2. Get the Right T-Shirt

Let’s talk fashion!

If you want to steer clear of jogger’s nipples and their painful consequences, it often boils down to one crucial choice – your running attire.

Picture this: you’re all geared up for a run, but you slip into that trusty old cotton T-shirt. Seems harmless, right? Wrong! Cotton can be your nipples’ worst nightmare, and here’s why.

Cotton shirts are like magnets for moisture. When you’re out pounding the pavement, sweating is inevitable. Now, when that moisture gets trapped between your skin and your cotton shirt, it’s a recipe for disaster. Your nipples end up in a steamy, chafing mess.

So, what’s the fix, you ask?

Opt for synthetic materials like Coolmax, Dri-Fit, or polypropylene, especially for the layer closest to your skin. These technical fabrics are like your personal moisture-wicking squad. They whisk away sweat, keeping your skin dry and friction to a minimum.

But here’s a pro tip: not only do these fabrics keep you dry, but they also dry faster themselves. That means even if you do break a sweat, your clothing won’t turn into a soggy chafing machine. Wet skin is a chafing nightmare waiting to happen.

Now, if you’re feeling bold and the weather allows, you could even consider going shirtless.

Yep, that’s right!

Running au naturel from the waist up can be a game-changer in your battle against upper body chafing.

Ladies, this one’s for you: a properly fitting sports bra that limits breast movement can be your best friend when it comes to preventing jogger’s nipples.

Runners Nipples Fix – 3. Use a Product

NipGuards is another common tool used against runners nipples. I haven’t personally dabbled in these, but word on the street is that they’re a real lifesaver when it comes to protecting your precious nipples.

NipGuards are like your invisible nipple armor, designed to fend off the chafing menace caused by your upper body clothing.

Here’s the lowdown: You can get about ten sets of these bad boys for around ten bucks. Now, some might say that’s a bit pricey, but can you really put a price on pain-free running? I think not!

As the name implies, NipGuards are sticky champs. They adhere directly to your nipples and stay put, even during those grueling long training runs. No more worrying about whether your nipple protection will hold up – these things have got your back.

Now, if you’re not looking to splurge on NipGuards, fear not. A trusty alternative is the good old Band-Aid or some trusty tape. Yep, it’s a budget-friendly option that I’ve personally used countless times, and it does the job just fine.

But here’s a little heads-up: when you’re sweating buckets, these makeshift nipple protectors might not stick as well as you’d like.

How To Treat Joggers Nipples

The severity of your battle wounds will determine your course of action, but here’s the general strategy:

Step 1: Rinse and Dry

Rinse those chafed nipples with lukewarm water, and be gentle, my friend. The last thing you want is to add more pain to the battlefield. I’d recommend doing this in the shower – it’s less painful than using a rough washcloth or anything else that might make you wince. You can even consider cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide just to ensure it’s all squeaky clean.

Step 2: Shield and Protect

Apply some A&D ointment or Neosporin to your wounded soldiers. This will help soothe the pain and prevent further irritation. But we’re not done yet – your nipples need a proper shield! Cover them up with some sterile gauze, and then use athletic tape to hold it all in place.

Step 3: R&R

Your brave nipples have been through quite the ordeal, so it’s time to give them some well-deserved rest and recovery. Take a couple of days off from running – your nipples will thank you for it..

Step 4: Seek Medical Reinforcements

If your runners’ nipples refuse to surrender and your nipples are still swollen, crusted, or bleeding, it’s time to call in the medical cavalry. You might be dealing with an infection, and that’s when you’ll need some prescription-strength antibiotic ointment. Remember, it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help – even the bravest warriors need reinforcements.

Note – In some cases, there might be an underlying condition causing all this trouble. It could be eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, a fungal infection, or even an allergic reaction..

Runners Nipples  – The Conclusion

Although jogger nipples are pretty common among runners of all fitness abilities, there’s no need to let the condition get in the way of your running routine.

The preventive measures shared here, along with a bit of forethought, can help you keep running strong without having to deal with runners’ nipples.

Keep in mind that you may need to test out a few approaches or mix them before you find what works best for you.

After all, no suit fits all.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions in the section below.

Back on Track: How to Start Running Again After a Break

start running again

Are you ready to reignite your running passion and hit the pavement once again? Well, you’re in luck because today we’re diving headfirst into the exciting world of getting back into running after taking some well-deserved time off.

We all know that life sometimes throws us curveballs, and our running routine takes a backseat. Whether it’s been two months, six months, or even longer since your last glorious run, the journey back to the road can seem like a daunting task.

Starting running again after a long break isn’t a black-and-white process. It’s more like a beautiful palette of colors, each representing a step towards reclaiming your running prowess. And guess what? I’m here to equip you with all the tools you need to paint your running masterpiece, even if it’s been months, or dare I say, years, since you last laced up those running shoes.

So, my running friend, are you ready? Take a deep breath, lace up those running shoes, and let’s embark on this epic comeback adventure.

How To Start Running Again After A long Break

So, you’re ready to dust off those running shoes and hit the pavement again after a long hiatus? That’s fantastic! But let’s be real, my friend, getting back into the running game after an extended break is no easy stroll through the park. However, fear not, because I’m here to guide you through the process and get you back on track.

Start Small After a Long Break

First things first, it’s crucial to approach your comeback with a beginner’s mindset. Embrace the fact that you may encounter some obstacles along the way. Whether it was an injury, illness, or the twists and turns of life that kept you away from running, it’s important to acknowledge that you might not be starting from the same place you left off.

Stamina may have taken a hit, and that’s completely normal.

Now, here’s the key: start small. Think of it as laying a strong foundation for your running journey. .

So, let’s take it step by step.

If you used to effortlessly breeze through a 10-mile run, let’s dial it back a bit. Start with a humble 3 to 5 miles at a slow and controlled pace.

Remember, this is just the beginning, and there’s no need to rush. The goal is to gradually rebuild your stamina and fitness levels, allowing your body to adjust and adapt along the way. Patience and consistency will be your guiding forces on this journey.

Commit to a 15 to 20-minute short runs, three times for one week.

Sure, you may want to do more, but just stick to 20-minute run sessions.

After three or four weeks of regular training, aim to increase your workload and running mileage.

Start with Where You’re At

Whether life got busy, motivation took a detour, or a pesky injury sidelined you, getting back into running can be quite the challenge. But fear not, my friend, because I’ve got your back, and together we’ll make this transition a breeze.

Now, listen up and take note: the key to a successful comeback is starting right where you are. This means resisting the temptation to dash out the door and conquer a 5K right off the bat. Trust me, that’s a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

Even if you’ve been diligent with cross-training activities like cycling, swimming, or hitting the weights to maintain your cardiovascular endurance, remember that running is a whole different ball game. It’s a high-impact sport that puts unique demands on your body.

So, give yourself some grace and acknowledge that it may take weeks, even months, for your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments to regain the strength needed to handle the rigors of running.

Now, let’s dive into the action steps on how to get back into the running groove.

First things first, begin with two to three short and easy “sessions” per week. Think of it as training every other day to allow your body ample time to recover and adapt. We’re not aiming for heroic feats just yet. These initial sessions are all about reacquainting yourself with the joy of running and gradually building up your endurance.

Once you’ve completed your first session, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself a few key questions:

  • Was it challenging but manageable?
  • Did you find yourself breathing easily and effortlessly, or did it feel like you were gasping for air?
  • Did any lingering pain make its presence known?
  • Did it genuinely hurt, or did it feel like a rejuvenating challenge?
  • Did you need to take walking breaks during the session?

These questions will help you gauge your starting point and adjust your approach accordingly. Remember, it’s perfectly okay if the first session felt challenging.

Additional resource – How to start running with your dog

Choose One Goal To Start Running Again

Juggling too many things in life is no easy feat. I can totally relate! When we find ourselves falling off the exercise wagon, it’s often because we’re spread thin, trying to do it all without any intense focus.

But fear not, my friend, for I have a secret to share: the key to success lies in choosing one goal to reignite your running journey. I know, it sounds simple, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

In the whirlwind of life, maintaining focus on a single objective can feel like an uphill battle. As an overachiever myself, I understand the struggle all too well. Our ambitious nature pushes us to take on the world, tackle multiple goals simultaneously, and conquer the universe before breakfast. But here’s the thing: spreading ourselves thin often leads to diluted efforts and lackluster results.

That’s why I encourage you to embrace the power of singularity. Choose one goal, one focal point, and direct all your energy and attention towards it. It may seem counterintuitive to some, but trust me, it’s a secret weapon that yields long-term rewards.

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of this approach. When selecting your one goal, consider what truly resonates with you. Is it completing a local 5K race? Shedding those extra pounds that have been clinging to you like stubborn barnacles? Or perhaps it’s simply reigniting the joy of running and reconnecting with that inner sense of freedom and empowerment.

Once you’ve identified your goal, commit to it wholeheartedly. Make it your North Star, guiding you through the twists and turns of your running journey. This doesn’t mean you ignore other aspects of your life—it’s about creating a laser-like focus on this particular objective while maintaining a healthy balance.

Sit down and come up with the ONE goal you want to achieve.

Do you want to run a 5K under 30 minutes, or shoot for a sub 3-hour marathon?

You choose.

Just make it accurate.

Write down your ONE goal, and keep it visible.

Your work desk is a good place, so is the living room.

Here’s the full guide setting fitness goals.

Rebuild Your Endurance—The Retraining Phase

Ah, the question that lingers in the minds of many returning runners: How much conditioning did we actually lose during that hiatus? If only there was a foolproof formula that could give us an exact number. Alas, the answer is not a one-size-fits-all equation, for each of us is a unique and wonderfully complex individual, responding differently to the ebb and flow of training stimuli.

The rate at which our conditioning dissipates depends on various factors: the length of the break, the reason behind the break (be it injury, work obligations, or a well-deserved vacation), and, of course, our conditioning level prior to the hiatus. It’s like a delicate ecosystem, influenced by multiple variables that shape our body’s response.

But worry no more. While I cannot provide you with an exact numerical value, I can offer some general guidelines based on scientific studies and research papers that explore the effects of breaks on maximal aerobic capacity, also known as VO2max.

So, here’s what the data suggests:

After a mere two weeks of rest, you may experience a decline of up to 5 to 7 percent in your VO2max. It’s a modest setback, but one that can be regained with some focused effort

Now, if your hiatus stretched to a two-month period, the impact on your VO2max becomes more substantial, with potential losses of up to 20 percent. It’s like a temporary dip in the energy reserves of your running engine—a setback that might require a bit more time and dedication to bounce back from

But wait, there’s more. For those who find themselves on a three-month sabbatical from running, brace yourself. Studies suggest that VO2max losses can reach a range of 30 to 50 percent. It’s like a gust of wind blowing through your running sails, requiring significant rebuilding and conditioning to regain your former glory.

Now, remember, these numbers are not set in stone. They provide a general framework to understand the potential impact of breaks on your aerobic capacity. Your individual response may vary, influenced by factors such as genetics, previous training history, and the activities you engaged in during your time off.

Still curious? Check the following research papers on deconditioning:

 The Golden Principle

As a rule of thumb, I advise returning to a running routine in a progressive manner.

If you pick things off from where you left, and do too much too soon, putting too large of a demand on your body, you could seriously hurt yourself.

The Conversational Pace

During this crucial period of rebuilding and reclaiming your running prowess, it’s essential to embrace the power of the conversational pace. This pace, also fondly known as the talk test, serves as your faithful guide, ensuring you don’t venture into the treacherous territories of breathlessness and overexertion.

Picture this: You’re out for a run, and a running buddy magically appears by your side. As you exchange greetings, you begin chatting effortlessly, sharing stories, dreams, and perhaps even debating the merits of sprinkles on ice cream. This delightful conversation flows seamlessly, with no desperate gasps for air or excessive panting interrupting your verbal ballet. That, my friend, is the epitome of the conversational pace.

To determine if you’ve discovered this harmonious pace, let the talk test be your compass. If you can speak in complete sentences without gasping for breath, you’re on the right track. However, if you find yourself struggling to recite anything more than a muffled “hello” or a few disjointed words, it’s a sign that you’ve veered into the realm of pushing too hard. Ease off the accelerator, slow your tempo, and find your conversational groove once again.

Remember, this phase of rebuilding is not about breaking speed records or conquering grand distances. It’s about nurturing your body, gently coaxing it back to its former glory. By embracing the conversational pace, you provide your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system the opportunity to reawaken gradually, building strength and endurance with each passing run.

Now, you may be wondering, what’s the science behind the conversational pace? Well, research studies have shown that running at a conversational pace allows your body to primarily rely on aerobic energy systems, tapping into the vast reserves of oxygen to fuel your efforts. It’s like sipping from a bottomless well of energy, allowing you to sustain your running without depleting your resources.

Rates Of Return To Running After A Break

Now, let’s dive into the realm of return rates and discover the secrets to a safe and successful running comeback. Are you ready? Let’s hit the ground running!

Running after Less than 10 Days Off

If your absence from the running scene lasted less than ten days, rejoice! You can pick up where you left off, like a runner with a secret time-turner. Just make sure you listen to your body and train pain-free.

Should fatigue strike mid-run, simply ease your pace or take a leisurely stroll to catch your breath. It’s all about finding that delicate balance between pushing yourself and respecting your body’s limits. And if you’re looking for inspiration on planning your running route, I’ve got just the additional resource for you. Explore the possibilities and unleash your inner cartographer!

Running After Two to Three Weeks Off

If you return to running following a three-week break, it’s wise to dial back your pace and mileage during this rebuilding phase. As a general rule, aim to run about one to two minutes per mile slower than your usual pace.

Consider it a gentle reminder to savor the moments and take in the sights along the way. And don’t forget to reduce your distance as well, running about half of what you were accustomed to before the break. This will help you avoid unnecessary soreness and ensure a smoother transition back to your running routine.

Running After One to Two Months Break off

Begin your journey by alternating between 30 to 60 seconds of running intervals and 30-second walks during your first session. Train for a total of 20 to 30 minutes, allowing your body to gradually adapt to the demands of running once more. In the days that follow, increase your running time while reducing your recovery periods.

Witness the transformation as you effortlessly run for 30 to 45 minutes, feeling the exhilaration of your comeback. And by the end of the third or fourth week, you’ll find yourself fit enough to conquer the holy grail of running—an hour of non-stop, conversational-paced running.

Running after Three Months Break to a Year Off 

Now, let’s chart a course for your grand return.

If it has been three months to a year since your last run, consider this a fresh start. Don’t be disheartened if you can’t pick up where you left off. Instead, embrace the concept of starting from scratch.

Think of it as a chance to rebuild the foundation of your running prowess, one brick at a time. Leave your ego at the door, my friend, and embrace the beauty of baby steps.

During these initial weeks, you’ll discover that it takes time to reacclimate to the rhythm of running. Even running a mere three miles may feel like a herculean task at first. But fear not, for I have a strategy to guide you through this reawakening.

Before diving headfirst into running, it’s essential to assess your readiness. Can you briskly walk for 45 to 60 minutes without discomfort or pain? If not, it’s wise to prioritize walking as your initial training ground. Walking serves as the gateway to reestablishing the exercise habit, revitalizing your soft tissues (those muscles, tendons, and ligaments), and expanding your lung power. Think of it as a gentle reintroduction, allowing your body to remember the joys of movement.

Once you’ve mastered the art of brisk walking, my friend, it’s time to take the leap into the walk-run method. Picture yourself as a graceful dancer, seamlessly transitioning between low-intensity jogging intervals and moments of recovery. This approach provides a gradual progression, allowing your body to adapt to the demands of running once again.

Start with short jogging intervals, interspersed with recovery periods. Feel the rhythm of your breath and the beat of your heart as you rediscover the exhilaration of movement. With each passing week, gradually increase the duration of your jogging intervals while maintaining a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable.

For the full guide to the walk/run method, check my post here.


So what are you waiting for?

Now it’s the time to start running again since you have the exact tools you need.

And please be careful out there.

Thank you for reading my blog post.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below


David Dack.

Unlock Your Perfect Running Frequency – How Often Should You Run

how many times to run in a week

When it comes to planning your running routine, one of the first crucial decisions to make is determining how often you should run each week.

However, as we’ll explore in this article, the answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as black and white.

Without further ado, here are the steps you need to take to determine how often you should be running.

The Main Factors to Consider

The exact mileage and time investment you’d need to devote to training will vary drastically depending on many factors.

These include:

  • Past experiences,
  • Present conditioning level, and
  • Future aspirations.

Here is how to make sense out of this.

Find your Goals

Running isn’t just about putting one foot in front of the other; it’s about knowing where you’re headed and how to get there. So, grab your running shoes and let’s get started!

Step 1: Define Your Running Goals

First things first, what’s your running ambition? Are you looking to shed those extra pounds, boost your overall health, or conquer a specific race with a jaw-dropping finish time? Your goals will be your guiding stars, so be crystal clear about what you want to achieve.

Here’s a glimpse of how your goals might steer your running journey:

  • Weight Loss Warrior: If you’re on a mission to shed pounds, your plan may involve running (or run/walking) around three times a week. I’ve got some good news – running is an excellent way to torch those calories and get your heart pumping!
  • Seasoned Runner: Now, if you’re a seasoned pro with miles of experience under your belt, you might find yourself lacing up those shoes five to six times a week. With your expertise, you’re ready to tackle new challenges and push your limits.

Step 2: Understand Your Uniqueness

Here’s the truth – there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how often you should run. It all depends on YOU. Your past experiences, your current fitness level, and your future dreams are all pieces of the puzzle.

Research studies like those from the American College of Sports Medicine have shown that tailored training programs are far more effective in helping individuals reach their goals. So, take a moment to understand what makes you unique.

Step 3: Embrace the Good News

Guess what? There’s a silver lining in this whole “how often should I run” conundrum. When you’re crystal clear about your running goals, you’re better equipped to build a training plan that’s a perfect fit for you.

Step 4: Dive into Your Running Goals

So, let’s have a heart-to-heart. What are your running goals? Are you determined to smash a specific time record? Is it all about boosting your health and well-being? Or perhaps you’re running for a deeply personal reason that’s close to your heart.

Now, with those goals firmly in your sights, let’s map out your journey.

Step 5: Assess Your Time

Life can be a whirlwind of commitments – family, work, school – you name it. To create a realistic plan, assess how much time you can dedicate to training each week. Be honest about your schedule, and remember, consistency is the name of the game.

Additional resource – How to walk 10,000 steps

How Often Should You Run When You’re a Complete Beginner

Alright, fellow newbie runner, we’re about to embark on an exciting journey! But before we lace up those running shoes, let’s figure out how often you should hit the pavement as a complete beginner.

Step 1: Start Gradually

First things first, experts recommend running two to three times per week when you’re just beginning your running adventure. Whether you’re taking your first steps as a runner or making a triumphant return after some time off, this approach is a winner.

Step 2: Why 2-3 Times a Week?

Now, you might wonder, why not run every single day? Well, there’s a method to this madness. Running two to three times a week allows your body to ease into the sport. It’s like introducing a new friend to your life – you need time to get to know each other.

Step 3: Build Stamina and Strength

Running a few times a week provides the magic potion for success. It gives you the precious time needed to boost your stamina, strengthen those muscles, and make friends with your connective tissues. Plus, it helps you establish that delightful habit of regular exercise.

Step 4: Approachable Training

Imagine running two to three times a week, with each run lasting just 20 to 30 minutes. It’s like taking small, manageable bites of a delicious dish. Perfect for the complete beginner! This approach makes training feel less intimidating and more achievable.

Step 5: Avoid Burnout and Injuries

Now, here’s a crucial tip: resist the urge to go all-out and aim for six days a week right from the start. Why? Because doing too much too soon can lead to burnout and increase the risk of injuries. Plus, let’s face it, our busy lives might not always allow for daily runs.

How Often Should You Run When You’re an Intermediate

Alright, you’ve conquered the beginner phase and are now firmly in the intermediate ranks. It’s time to level up your running routine! So, how often should you hit the pavement at this stage? Let’s break it down.

Step 1: Transition to Intermediate

If you’ve been consistently running for the past few months, congratulations – you’re an intermediate runner now! This is where the fun really begins.

Step 2: Aim for 4-5 Days a Week

As an intermediate runner, your target is to run four to five days a week. This increased frequency allows you to challenge yourself and make significant progress. It’s like turning up the volume on your running journey.

Step 3: Listen to Your Body

Here’s a golden rule: always listen to your body. While it’s great to aim for 4-5 days of running, it’s equally important to understand when your body needs a break. Be attentive to signs of fatigue, soreness, or any discomfort. Your body is your best coach – trust it!

Step 4: Gradual Volume Increase

As you transition into the intermediate level, remember to increase your weekly volume gradually. Don’t rush it. Slow and steady wins the race. This approach minimizes the risk of overuse injuries and burnout.

How to Progress?

So, you’ve been running consistently for a few months and are ready to take it to the next level. Progression is the name of the game. Let’s dive into how you can do that effectively.

Step 1: Gradual Progression

To progress from running three to four times a week to five times a week, it’s essential to take it step by step. Rushing can lead to burnout and injuries. Here’s a structured plan:

Step 2: Weeks 1-6

Continue running three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes each session.

Maintain an intensity of up to 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR).

Step 3: Weeks 6-10

Stick to three weekly runs, but extend each run to 30 to 40 minutes.

Slightly increase the intensity, aiming for up to 65 to 75 percent of MHR.

Step 4: Weeks 10-13

Now it’s time to introduce a fourth running day.

Run for 30 to 45 minutes during these sessions.

Maintain an intensity of up to 70 percent of MHR.

Step 5: Weeks 13-16

You’re almost there! In this phase, embrace a five-day running schedule.

Keep each run between 25 to 40 minutes.

Maintain an intensity ranging from 65 to 75 percent of MHR.

Step 6: Listen to Your Body

Throughout this progression, always listen to your body. If you experience excessive fatigue, soreness, or any discomfort, don’t hesitate to adjust your plan. Rest and recovery are your allies.

The Exact Mileage

As soon as you figure out how often you should run per week, you’d want to determine your weekly volume—or how many miles to run every week.

As I have stated in my previous beginner runner posts, the ideal way to keep running while reducing the risk of injury is to run without obsessing over mileage.

In fact, during the first few months, forget about distance, pace, and all that sort.

Instead, focus on running for a specific length, 30 minutes, for instance, at a relaxed pace and without much huffing and puffing.

To get to that point, you’d need to train in a run/walk format in which you alternate between intervals of low-intensity running—or jogging—for 30 seconds and recovery walking breaks.

Once you get there, start to gradually increase mileage while following the 10 percent rule.

Here is an exemplary beginner’s running plan for the week

  • Monday – 30-minute easy run in the morning + 45 minutes of cross-training (weight lifting – optional)
  • Tuesday Rest or 30 minutes of cross-training such as cycling, spinning, or swimming.
  • Wednesday – 45-minute run at a tempo pace
  • Thursday – 60 minutes of cross-training – Weightlifting.
  • Friday – 30-minute easy run in the morning + 30-minutes of cross-training in the evening (Yoga – optional)
  • Saturday – 50 to 60 minutes long run at a relaxed pace.
  • Sunday – Rest.

Additional resource – How to walk 10,000 steps

Should you Cross Train?

Cross-training isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer for runners. Whether you’re a newbie lacing up your sneakers or a seasoned road warrior, incorporating cross training into your routine can supercharge your running journey. Let’s dive into why it’s a must:

Boost Overall Conditioning

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s your best friend when you’re hitting the pavement. Cross training introduces different movements and challenges, enhancing your overall fitness. This well-rounded conditioning can elevate your running game, making you stronger and more resilient.

Injury Prevention

Repetitive motion can take a toll on your body. Cross training allows you to give specific running muscles a break while working on others. It reduces the risk of overuse injuries and keeps you in peak form. Remember, the best way to conquer injuries is to prevent them.

Build the Exercise Habit

Starting a new exercise routine can be daunting, but cross training can ease you in. It breaks the monotony and keeps your workouts fresh. This variety can make exercise a habit that sticks, setting you up for long-term success.

Well-Rounded Runner

Why settle for being a one-trick pony? Cross training transforms you into a well-rounded runner. You’ll have the strength, flexibility, and endurance to tackle any terrain and distance. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife in your running arsenal.

Ideal Cross-Training Options

The world of cross training is vast, offering something for everyone:

  • Brisk Walking: A low-impact exercise that complements running beautifully.
  • Spinning: Get your heart pumping on a stationary bike for a killer cardio workout.
  • Swimming: Dive into this full-body exercise that’s gentle on the joints.
  • Strength Training: Build muscle to power up your runs and protect against injury.
  • Yoga: Enhance flexibility, balance, and mental focus for peak performance.

Additional resource – Running Vs. Strength training

Do not Forget to Rest

Take enough rest between challenging workouts.

Ideally, take one day of full rest—meaning no running or cross—training allowed.

Just rest on your butt and count your blessings.

How Often Should You Run – The Conclusion

I hope today’s post gives you some clear answers to how often should you run per week.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Keep training hard.

David D

Conquer Winter Runs: A Runner’s Guide to Breathing Better in the Cold

How to Breathe When Running in the Cold

Winter running is no easy feat, especially for runners who have breathing problems during cold weather.

In fact, most runners—except for the lucky ones living in moderate climate regions—often experience issues such as a runny nose, restricted breathing, burning lungs, and a dry throat when braving the cold.

For these reasons (and some), many shy away from winter running.

But, that’s no excuse to stop running altogether.

Here are the guidelines you need to keep the cold air from taking your breath away.

By implementing the following tips, you’ll be able to breathe better throughout your outdoor winter workouts.

But before we do that, let’s first look at what happens to your body when exercising outdoors in the cold.

The Difficulty Of Running in Winter

There’s a common belief that running in cold weather can do more harm than good.

Some beginner runners even worry that breathing the cold air will freeze their lungs and lead to immediate disaster.

But here’s the reality: the fear of frozen lungs is somewhat exaggerated. Running in sub-freezing temperatures might be uncomfortable, but it’s not typically dangerous. Severe lung damage due to cold air is only a concern in extreme subfreezing conditions.

In such conditions, which generally occur at temperatures below 4°F (-15°C), outdoor exercise is not advisable. This is because your body may struggle to sufficiently warm the air before it reaches your lungs, among other potential issues that can arise.

However, it’s worth noting that the chances of you running in such extreme freezing conditions are quite slim—unless you happen to live in an exceptionally cold region. So, while running in winter may be a bit uncomfortable at times, it’s generally safe.

The Process of Air “Warm-ups”

Your body’s pulmonary system is pretty impressive when it comes to dealing with cold air. Here’s how it works

When you inhale cold air, whether during exercise or just going about your day in chilly weather, your body’s respiratory system springs into action. Your nose, mouth, throat, and the cells lining your windpipe, or trachea, all play a crucial role in warming up the incoming air.

By the time that cold air travels from your nose or mouth down to the bottom of your trachea, it’s already been warmed significantly and is close to your body’s internal temperature. Your body works diligently to make sure the air you breathe is comfortable for your lungs.

On the exhale, regardless of the temperature and humidity of the surrounding air, you breathe out air that is close to your body temperature. This natural process ensures that your lungs are exposed to air that won’t shock or harm them, even in cold conditions.

How to Breathe While Running in The Cold

Although research shows that exercising in the cold won’t do permanent damage to your lungs—running in the winter is no walk in the park.

That said, before you start thinking about skipping outdoor running altogether, know that the downsides are manageable and are by no means a valid excuse to skip your training.

Without further ado, here is how to breathe right when running in the winter.

Additional resource – Your guide to Runners cough

Use A bandana, Scarf, or Balaclava

Chilly weather and frosty air can really take a toll on your run, especially if it leaves your lungs burning or triggers some serious coughing fits. But fret not, fellow runners, there’s a simple solution: wrap up with a moisture-wicking neck warmer, scarf, or trusty bandana.

Why is this gear so darn helpful, you ask?

Well, picture this: as you venture out into the icy abyss, your bandana or scarf becomes your trusty sidekick, shielding your precious lungs from the frigid air. It’s like a warm, cozy hug for your respiratory system.

But it doesn’t stop there. These nifty accessories do more than just block the chill. They’re like lung superheroes, swooping in to humidify the cold, dry air you inhale and recycle the moisture from your exhales. The result? The air you breathe is not only warmer but also easier on your lungs.

Now, when your lungs feeling extremely cold, consider the merino wool balaclava. This bad boy covers your mouth, nose, ears, and head, providing you with full insulation. It’s not just about staying warm; it’s also your shield against frostbite on those rosy cheeks and kissable lips.

Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room. Sure, you might resemble a mysterious bank robber out of a movie, but hey, you’ll be toasty warm, comfortable, and definitely not hacking up a lung.

And here’s the best part – there’s a whole world of neck-warmers, bandanas, scarfs, and balaclavas out there, sporting designs to match your personal preferences. You can protect your health, stay stylish, and conquer the winter run – all in one fell swoop. So, go ahead, embrace the cold, and keep those lungs happy.

Inhale Through the Nose & Exhale Through the Mouth

When it comes to the art of breathing while running, I’ve usually recommended taking in those sweet lungfuls of air through both your nose and mouth. But hold onto your hats because cooler temperatures might call for a different approach.

In fact, when you’re out there braving the cold, consider this: inhaling solely through your nose could be the winning strategy.

Here’s the scoop on why it works. Breathing in through your nose can actually do a fantastic job of warming up and humidifying the icy air. You see, as that frigid air embarks on its journey to your lungs, it’s got quite a distance to cover. And that’s a good thing. It gives it more time to get toasty and moist as it winds its way through your nasal passages and those nifty little cells lining your windpipe.

Nasal breathing isn’t just about heating things up; it’s a master of maintaining your body temperature too.

Now, here’s the catch – it won’t let you inhale as much oxygen as the mouth can manage. This becomes especially apparent when you crank up the intensity of your run, like when you’re tackling those grueling intervals or conquering hill reps.

So, here’s the game plan for those frosty days. If you find yourself in the midst of an extreme cold snap, consider dialing down the intensity a notch. This will help you avoid those desperate gasps for air. Keep your workouts cruising along at a conversational pace. And when the conditions are just right, and the breathing feels easy, then, my friend, you can crank up the intensity to your heart’s content.

Are You Asthmatic?

Feeling like you’ve tried everything but still finding yourself gasping for breath in the chilly air? Well, it might be time to consider whether you’re dealing with asthma or another pulmonary issue.

You see, when you inhale that dry, icy air, it can be a real irritant to your throat. It might even lead to inflammation and damage, triggering an asthmatic response.

If this sounds like your situation, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor for a thorough check-up. They’ll be able to determine if asthma is the culprit, and, if so, they can prescribe medication and maybe even an inhaler to help you out.

But asthma isn’t the only condition that can put a damper on your cold-weather runs. Here are a few others you should be aware of:

  • Cardiovascular Disease: If you’re dealing with heart issues, it’s best to avoid running in the cold. The extreme temperatures can strain your heart and potentially worsen your condition.
  • Exercise-Induced Bronchitis: This nasty condition can rear its ugly head when you work out in chilly weather. It’s characterized by chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing. Not fun, right?
  • Raynaud’s Disease: This one messes with your blood circulation, leading to numbness and pain in certain parts of your body. Running in the cold can make these symptoms even worse.

So, if any of these health issues sound familiar, it’s time to think twice about those frosty jogs and consider alternative indoor workouts instead.

A Better Alternative

It’s all about making the right choice for your comfort and well-being, my fellow runner!

When you’re standing there, all bundled up, contemplating a chilly run, just remember: you have options! If the cold weather isn’t vibing with you, it’s totally okay to skip that run and live to hit the pavement another day.

Consider shifting your workout indoors to the cozy gym. You don’t have to be a running martyr!

Treadmills, as much as they might get a bad rap from some runners, are actually fantastic machines. They’re like your trusty sidekick for year-round, consistent training. Who wouldn’t want that, right?

So, remember, it’s not about battling the elements; it’s about making smart choices for your fitness journey. Whether you’re out conquering the cold or rocking it indoors on the treadmill, you’re still making strides toward your goals. Keep it up!

From Couch to 10K: How to Go from Zero to Running Hero

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, training for a 10K can be like embarking on a thrilling adventure, complete with twists, turns, and unexpected obstacles.

But before you start training for one, there are a few things you need to know.

Sure, you might already know that a 10K race is approximately 6.2 miles long, but did you know that it’s also the perfect distance for runners who want a challenge without completely wrecking their bodies?

But to make this a reality, you need need a solid plan to help you train effectively and achieve your goals. This is especially the case if you’re a complete beginner.

Luckily, I’ve got you covered with this comprehensive beginner’s guide to 10K training. You’ll discover everything you need to know to prepare for your first 10K, including how long you need to train, what the average 10K time is for beginners, and a detailed Couch to 10K training plan.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

What’s a 10K Race?

Alongside the shorter 5K, the 10K is one of beginner runners’ most popular race distances. It’s the ideal distance – not too long, not too short.

The 10K is a fantastic challenge for newbie runners while appealing to more experienced runners. The 6.2-mile distance hits the sweet spot of being a challenge without needing long months of hard training, as it’s the norm for half or full-marathon events.

10K in Miles – The Full Answer

But wait, what even is a 10K? Is it a distance, a time, a secret code?

Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.

As the name implies, a 10K is race distance of 10 kilometers, which is about 6.2 miles – Specifically, 6 miles and 376 yards or 32,808 feet and 5 inches.  Or twice the distance of a 5K, which is 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles.

Now, you might be thinking, “6.2 miles? That sounds like a lot!”

I won’t blame you if you feel that way, but, for example, when compared to the marathon, or 26.2 miles, the 10K is like a easy stroll through the park.

Well, maybe not a easy stroll, but you get the point.

Putting Things Into Perspective

To put things into perspective, let’s break down the distance.

To complete a 10K, you’ll need to run 25 laps around a standard outdoor track or 50 laps around an indoor track. You could also run a football field (including the end zone) 91.14 times or climb the Empire State Building 26.25 times. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could scale the Eiffel Tower 31.25 times. Okay, maybe don’t do that last one.

Here are some useful links on the history of the 10K and some interesting facts.

Now that you know what a 10K is, let’s dive into the practical stuff. I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to train for and conquer your first 10K race. And if you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll get some advanced training techniques to help you take your 10K results to the next level.

How Much Time Do I Need To Train For my First 10K?

Well, that’s a tricky question, and the answer isn’t black and white like a zebra’s stripes. It depends on several factors, including your current fitness level, running experience, and personal goals. But if you’re a complete couch potato who wants to tackle a 10K, don’t fret! With proper training, you can achieve your goal in about 12 weeks, give or take a few.

To put things into perspective, let’s say you’re a pizza-loving, Netflix-binging, and couch-hugging person with little to no running background. You might think that running a 10K is an impossible feat, but it’s not! In fact, with dedication and a well-structured training plan, you can go from the couch to a 10K finish line in just a few months.

Now, you might wonder, “Am I a beginner?” In my book, a beginner is anyone who can comfortably walk for an hour or jog for one mile without feeling like they’re about to collapse.

You’re a beginner? Perfect.

But if you’ve some running experience under your belt, you might want to skip ahead to the advanced training plan.

Should Complete Beginners Run a 10K?

You wouldn’t start with a triple-decker pizza if you’re not used to eating spicy food, you shouldn’t aim for a 10K if you’re dealing with chronic health issues or are way out of shape. Instead, consider starting with a 5K race, which is a more suitable introduction to road racing.

Remember, running a 10K is not a sprint; it’s actually 10 kilometers (pun intended). Be careful.

The Couch To 10K Training Plan You Need

Medical Note:  The journey towards a 10K race can be an exhilarating one, but it’s not without its challenges. The Couch to 10K Training Plan below is no exception. It requires determination and commitment, and it’s not for everyone. If you’re over 40, dealing with obesity, heart conditions, chronic injuries, or physical limitations, you may want to consider seeking medical advice before embarking on this journey.

Walk First

Walking is an excellent way to build up your endurance before starting the Couch to 10K plan. Walking for an hour or more at a brisk pace is a good indicator that you’re ready to take on the next level. It’s important to gradually build up your walking sessions to longer than 60 to 90 minutes each, three to four times a week.

Once you find your rhythm, you’re ready to take on the next level of the 10K training plan described below.

Walk Run

The walk/run method is an effective way to adapt your body to the high impact of running without the risk of injury or overtraining. By incorporating intervals of low-intensity running and walking, you can steadily improve your cardiovascular conditioning and endurance.

The walk/run method is like a ladder – each step you take gets you closer to the top. By alternating walking and running, you’re gradually building up your endurance and reaching new heights in your fitness journey.

It’s important to start each running interval slowly and maintain a steady pace throughout the run. By doing this, you’ll avoid exhaustion or injury and build up your confidence and endurance gradually.

Take More Weeks

It’s important to remember that the 10K plan is not a rigid schedule. If you feel like it’s advancing too quickly for you, take more time to rest and recover, or slow down and repeat a week or two. It’s better to find your own pace first, and gradually build up from there, rather than pushing yourself too hard and getting hurt or discouraged. Remember, the key to success is consistency, and slow progress is still progress.

Additional resource – Additional resource – How to train for an 8K

Find The Right Intensity

Let’s talk about how to stay injury-free and avoid burnout. One way to do that is by finding the right intensity.

Trust me; you don’t want to push yourself too hard and end up gasping for air. Stick to a conversational pace where you can chat with a buddy without feeling like you’re about to pass out.

Already panting? Then you must be doing too much. Slow down and let yourself recover. As a rule, exercise within 65 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate, which translates to a 6 to 7 on an exertion scale of 1 to 10.

Rest or Cross Train During 10K Plan

Overtraining is a common trap many runners fall into. To reduce your risks, make sure follow sound recovery practices.

As a rule, take one day off every week. That’s usually a Sunday for most people, but different strokes for different folks.

During your non-running days, feel free to take more rest days or, if you heed my advice, cross-train.

Cross-training the right way can help you improve your cardiovascular health and strength without the added impact of running.

Ideal cross-training exercises include biking, swimming, strength training, and yoga.

All of these will help you build your endurance and stamina further.

But if I had to choose, I’ll always go with strength training as it helps. Improve running economy and prevent injury. Muscle groups to work on include the glutes, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

Additional resource – When to skip a run

The 10K Training Plan For Beginners

Now that you know how many miles is a 10K and how to prepare for it, let’s get to the practical stuff.

It’s time for the main show.

My Couch to 10K training plan is perfect for beginners who want to gradually build up their running time without feeling overwhelmed.

You’ll start with a mix of jogging and walking, slowly increasing your running time over the course of three months. Each week includes one day of complete rest and 3 (optional) days for walking or cross-training, which can help you on your feet without risking burnout.

10K in miles

Note – If this 10K plan is too much for you, try my couch to the 5K schedule instead.

10K Racing Tips For Beginners

Are you a beginner gearing up for your first 10K race? Great news, I’ve got some tips to help you prepare and avoid any last-minute mistakes that could sabotage your performance.

Recover Well

First things first, make sure you’re recovering well in the week leading up to the race. Rest is like the oil change for a car; it helps your body run smoothly and perform at its best.

The last week before the big day, do your 50-minute long run. But in the two to three days before the race, try to get some quality sleep and give your body a chance to recharge.

I’ve been a runner for years and have found that proper rest and nutrition are just as important as training. In fact, I often prioritize sleep and healthy eating over extra workouts when I’m in a training cycle.

For instance, when I ran my first half marathon race, I made the mistake of staying up late the night before, trying to calm my nerves by watching TV. Needless to say, I was a sleepy and grumpy runner the next morning, and my performance suffered as a result.

Sign Up Early

To stay on track, sign up for a race as early as possible. That way, you’ll a clear aim. Think of signing up for the race early as planting a seed. With proper care and attention, that seed will grow into a beautiful plant.

After picking an event, build your training volume gradually and slowly.

Get Ready The Night Before

To keep your mind focused on the race instead of everything else, lay your running gear out the night before the race.

Then, try to get as much sleep as possible, aiming for 8 to 9 hours of high-quality, nonstop sleep.

I know some of you can get too excited and can’t sleep well before the due date.

Remember, recovery is vital for a good racing experience.

A sleepy runner is a lousy racer.

Pace Yourself During Your First 10K

During your first 10K, try to run the whole distance evenly. If you start off too fast, you’ll regret it in the end—assuming you’ll be able to make it up to the finish line.

The key is to start slow…really slow, and gradually add your speed. Proper race pace is key.

For example, if you plan to finish the 10K race in 60 minutes (a realistic goal if you ask me), plan to clear each kilometer marker at 6-minute intervals.

If you still feel you have more energy in the end, pick up the pace as you near the finish line.

You can also do a negative split.

Run the first 5K at an easy, very easy pace.

Then, once you’re past the 5K mark, gradually increase your speed and make each mile a bit faster so that once you reach the final stretch, you’re definitely at your Max.

Eat For Performance

Don’t starve or stuff yourself.

On Race day, eat something that provides you with enough energy without upsetting your stomach.

For this reason, you’d have to test out different eating strategies during your regular weekday runs.

Listen to Your Body

This is the most important advice –whether you end up racing or not.

If you’re experiencing acute pain while racing, stop running immediately and seek medical help, but if you’re mildly sore, rest for a day and see how you feel.

If you just got a classic, not-so-serious running injury such as blisters or chafing, then consider it a badge of honor and just push through.

Take your 10k Training Plan To the Next Level.

Already snatched a few medals or recorded good timing and want to take things to the next level?

The following tips can help.

  • Train consistently. Real growth happens when you stick with your training for a long time. Training for a few months and then calling it quick after running your first 10K is a waste of time. Instead, think bigger. I’m done with 10k; how about the half marathon or even marathon later?
  • Perform drills – instead of simply focusing on logging more miles, do speed drills that help boost your speed and endurance. This may involve performing interval training, hill reps, or temp workouts. Maybe you can finish faster on the next race? You never know your potential until you push yourself to your limits.
  • Improve your cadence. This refers to the number of steps you can take during one minute of running. Improving your cadence helps you run much faster with less risk of injury.


Now that you’ve crossed the finish line of this article let me sum up the main points explained:

  • The 10K in miles is 6.2 miles.
  • You can train for a 10K whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced runner.
  • The average finish time for 10K for beginners is around 50 to 80 minutes.
  • Following proper 10K training strategies is the best way to get you to the finish line.

Now not only that you know what’s a 10K in miles, but you actually have a practical 10K training plan.

That’s awesome.

But without following through and taking action, nothing will change.

So please start training now, and never deviate.

The rest is just details, as the saying goes.

Please let me know what you think about my couch to 10K plan in the comments section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

David D.

8 Ways to Increase Lung Capacity For Running

runner tyring to improve Lung Capacity

Are you ready to take your running to the next level? Then you need to understand the importance of lung capacity.

Think of your lungs as the engine of your body, powering you through every step of your run.

Your lung capacity determines how much oxygen you can take in and how much carbon dioxide you can expel.

Without strong lungs, your body can’t perform at its best, and your running goals may seem out of reach. But don’t worry, with the right strategies, you can boost your lung capacity and achieve your running dreams.

In this post, I’ll dive into the many strategies that can help you increase your lung capacity for running. I’ll provide you with research-backed advice to guide you toward running farther, faster, and with less fatigue.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting, increasing your lung capacity is a great way to boost your performance and feel more powerful and stronger. So, let’s get started!

What is Lung Capacity?

Imagine your lungs as two balloons. The bigger the balloons, the more air they can hold. This is exactly how your lungs work.

Lung capacity is the amount of air your lungs can hold, and it’s a vital factor in determining how well you perform in cardiovascular activities, particularly running. The larger your lung capacity, the more oxygen your bloodstream can receive, and the more efficient your body becomes at converting that oxygen into energy.

Unfortunately, just like any other organ, our lungs start to deteriorate with age, and our lung capacity typically begins to decrease after we hit our 30s. If you have a preexisting health condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this process can happen even faster. But don’t worry, there are many things you can do to improve your lung capacity and, ultimately, your overall health and well-being.

8 Ways to Increase Lung Capacity For Running

Without further ado, here are eight strategies to help you improve lung capacity for running.

Start Slow

Have you ever found yourself gasping for air while running, even with perfect technique? It turns out that lack of conditioning is often the culprit, especially if you’re new to running.

When you run, your muscles require more oxygen, and the more you push your body, the more oxygen you need. This can cause you to become exhausted earlier than you’d like.

So, what can you do to improve your lung capacity for running? The key is to start slow and keep it at a conversational pace. You should be able to speak in full sentences without gasping for air. Once you can do this for 30 minutes straight, work your way up to more challenging sessions.

Here are a few effective strategies to help you increase your lung capacity for running over time:

  • Run a longer distance at a slower pace. This approach can help increase your red blood cell count, grow more capillaries, and strengthen your heart, which is a muscle, after all. By gradually increasing the distance you run, you can gradually build up your endurance and improve your lung capacity.
  • Run more frequently each week. When you run more frequently, you provide your body with enough stimulus to build more cell mitochondria and capillaries. This, in turn, allows more oxygen to course through your bloodstream, ultimately improving your lung capacity and endurance.
  • Consider cross-training. Engaging in cardiovascular activities like cycling, swimming, and skiing can help push your endurance without putting too much stress on your body. This can help you improve your lung capacity without risking injury or burnout from running too much.

Learn Deep Breathing

Breathing is an essential part of running. Deep breathing, in particular, can help you increase your lung capacity and improve your endurance. But did you know that most runners breathe from their chest instead of their bellies? It’s like trying to fill a balloon by blowing air into the nozzle instead of using your whole mouth!

To fully engage your lungs and diaphragm, practice deep breathing. The diaphragm is a muscle shaped like a jellyfish or a parachute that sits below the lungs and helps you breathe. When you take a deep breath, your diaphragm pulls down on the abdominal cavity, inflating your lungs with maximum air. On the exhale, it deflates, squeezing the air out.

Belly Vs. Chest Breathing

Most runners tend to breathe from their chest instead of the belly.

Don’t you believe me? Go run a mile at a challenging pace, then place your hand on your belly and the other one your chest, then watch.

You’re breathing right if the upper hand stays relatively still while the lower hand is moving on each breath, which is more than often not the case.

Also known as shallow or thoracic breathing, chest breathing occurs when the act of respiration originates from the top lobes of the lungs.

When breathing this way, you expand and contract the chest but without engaging the diaphragm, which in turn, draws in minimal air into the lungs.

Here’s how to practice deep breathing in the comfort of your own home.

1 –  Start out lying flat on your back, chest open, and shoulders relaxed. Keep one hand resting on your chest and the other on your belly.

2 – Breathe in slowly, spending about ten seconds on your inhale. Visualize your lungs filling up with air. Feel the air moving into your chest, stomach, and abdomen.

3 – Once your lungs are full of air (you might feel mild discomfort in the solar plexus middle of your torso), hold your breath for a count of ten, then exhale slowly for ten seconds through pursed lips while pulling your belly button to your spine.

And that’s it! By repeating the exercise over and over again, you’ll teach your body how to rely more on the diaphragm for the act of respiration. This, in turn, should help you increase lung capacity for running.

Breathing Exercises

Looking for more breathing exercises? I’ve got you covered.

The breathing exercises described below can increase strength in your respiratory muscles and help build endurance.

That, in turn, will improve lung function.

Long-term result?

Improved running performance.

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

These breathing exercises are simple and can be done anywhere.

Feel free to do them at home, at work, during your commute, or, preferably, as a part of your warm-up routine.

Repeat each exercise three to five times.

Bhastrika Pranayama (bellows breath)

Rib Stretch

Abdominal Breathing

The 4/7/8 Technique

Kapalbhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire)

Pilates Exercises

Breaking away from chest breathing is easier said than done, especially when you’re busy running, trying to keep pace.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

One thing you can do to help you practice deep breathing while exercising is doing Pilates.

Pilates exercises are a form of cross-training that improves endurance without putting too much stress on your body.

They are also ideal for improving lung capacity.

Pilate exercises focus on isometric exercise.

It deliberate breathing patterns to increase muscle strength, build mobility, and improve posture.

More specifically, Pilates exercises to strengthen all the muscles of the core—including the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles, which are super useful for your breathing.

Practice the exercises below two to three times a week, either as a part of your cool down or as a stand-alone routine.

You might find some similar positions in yoga but with different names.

  • The Swan
  • The Standing Chest Expansion
  • Spine Twist

Breathing While Running

“Should I breathe through my nose, my mouth, or both?” This is a common question in the running world.

My answer makes everybody happy: use both pathways.

When you’re running, you should focus on getting as much air as possible into your lungs so that the oxygenated blood can meet your muscle’s needs.

Don’t know how to make that happen? Try the following:

Open your mouth—preferably in a “dead fish” position.

The mouth is larger than the nostrils, so it’s more effective at drawing in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide.

Rhythmic Breathing

If you want to run like a pro, try rhythmic breathing, which is the practice of coordinating your inhales and exhales to your foot strikes.

It’s not as complicated as pranayama.

For example, a 2:1 breathing ratio means taking two steps on the inhale and one step while breathing out.

The exact ratio to follow depends largely on your training intensity, fitness level, speed, and personal preference.

The rhythmic patterns I recommend for beginners are 2:2 and 2:3.

These work well for training at slow to moderate intensity.

To take your breathing power to the next level, I’d recommend taking up yoga.

To get started on the right foot, try a paid subscription service that can cost you up $10 to $15 a month (but worth it).

Additional resource – Your guide to Runners cough

Advanced Tactics For Expanding Lung Power For Running

By now, you have all the tools you need to increase lung capacity for running.

But if you still want more, check out the following.

Altitude Training

Altitude training is a technique used by elite athletes from different sports for a reason – it works. At higher elevations, the air contains less oxygen, forcing your body to compensate by triggering red blood cell and hemoglobin production. This increase in oxygen-carrying capacity and your body’s ability to use oxygen can improve your running performance. Once you return to lower elevations, your body maintains this increased level of red blood cells and hemoglobin for up to two weeks.

But be careful! Altitude training can be dangerous if you don’t give your body enough time to adjust to the thinner mixture of oxygen in the air. You may experience symptoms of altitude sickness, such as gasping, fatigue, and dizziness. If you can’t go on, don’t force it. Overdoing it can damage your respiratory tract.

Respiratory Training Equipment

Another strategy is respiratory training equipment, which partially blocks airways, simulating high-altitude training. While it can be effective, it’s neither easy nor cheap to access some of these tools. Overuse of these tools can also lead to overtraining, which is why it’s not recommended unless you’re a pro athlete.

Some tools include:

  • Hyperbaric sleeping chambers
  • Low-oxygen tents
  • Swimming while using a snorkel with restricted airflow
  • Working out with a hypoxic air generator
  • Portable hypoxic machines

There’s one important caveat.

It’s neither easy nor cheap to get access to some of these tools.

A good hypoxic mask may be within your budget—they retail for under $100.

You also risk overtraining when you overuse them.

That’s why, unless you’re a pro athlete making a living out of running, I don’t see any reason to turn to hypoxia training.

Additional Resource – Running and pollution

Keep Your Lungs Healthy

All of these tips will be of no use if you neglect your lung health. The best thing you can do to improve your lung function is to simply take good care of your lungs.

The following tips will help keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

  • Stop smoking. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years, you already know that smoking is bad for your health.  Research has shown that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer, lung diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Eat healthily. Choose foods rich in antioxidants, such as leafy green and cruciferous vegetables. They contain many healthy compounds that can help rid your body of harmful toxins. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are good examples.
  • Get vaccinated. I’m not going to argue about vaccines’ pros and cons, but we didn’t get rid of polio by accident. Shots like the pneumonia vaccine and the flu vaccine can go a long way in preventing lung-related issues and promoting overall health. Make sure to contact your GP before deciding.
  • Improve air quality. By keeping your home well-ventilated, reducing pollutants like artificial fragrances, using a humidifier, and getting rid of mold.

Additional resource – Guide to Urban running

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Medical Help

If you’re dealing with symptoms of poor lung health, such as pain when breathing, shortness of breath during daily activity, or persistent coughs, contact your doctor.

The earlier you receive treatment for your lung problems, the sooner you’ll heal, and the better the outcomes are likely to be.

Remember that your lung consists of pocketed air sacs, so be careful.

Don’t dismiss everything as simple as a common cold.

What’s more?

It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before trying any new exercise, especially running.

This is especially the case for beginner runners with underlying health conditions, such as COPD , asthma, or other obstruction diseases.

Increasing Lung Capacity for Runners – The Conclusion

In conclusion, increasing your lung capacity is crucial for taking your running to the next level. Your lungs are like the engine of your body, supplying the necessary oxygen for optimal performance. By understanding the importance of lung capacity, you can work towards achieving your running goals and surpassing your limits.

Remember, before embarking on any new exercise or training regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions, it is advisable to consult with your doctor. Additionally, if you experience symptoms of poor lung health, seek medical help to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

By implementing these strategies and caring for your lungs, you can expand your lung capacity and unlock your full running potential. Embrace the journey of improving your lung capacity, and enjoy the benefits of increased endurance, improved performance, and overall well-being in your running endeavors.

Thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong

David D.

Running Cadence – What’s The Ideal Stride Turnover & How To Improve it

do you want to improve running cadence?

Ready to level up your running game and become a speed demon while reducing the risk of pesky injuries? Then you should work on  increasing your running cadence. Trust me, it’s the key that both elite and recreational runners swear by to up their game.

Now, you might be wondering, “What on earth is cadence, and why is it such a big deal?” Allow me to shed some light on the matter. Cadence refers to the number of steps you take per minute while running.

But here’s the exciting part: by fine-tuning your cadence, you can unlock a world of benefits. It’s like discovering a hidden superpower that enhances your running performance. Imagine running with more efficiency, power, and grace—all while reducing the risk of those dreaded injuries that can put a halt to your training.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How can I improve my running cadence?” Fear not for I’ve got you covered. I’ve discovered seven tried-and-true methods that are not only simple but also highly effective and oh-so-easy to implement.

So, are you ready to step up your game and discover the power of cadence? Let’s dive right in and make those strides count!

What is the Ideal Running Cadence?

Cadence, also known as stride rate or leg turnover, is simply the number of steps you take within a given time frame, typically measured per minute. It’s a fascinating metric that holds the key to unlocking your true running potential and improving your form. And today, we’re diving deep into the world of cadence to unravel its secrets.

Now here’s the juicy part. You may have heard that the ideal running cadence is around 180 steps per minute, a number often touted as the golden standard. But here’s the twist: there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one-size-fits-all, universal running cadence that works for every runner. It’s time to challenge the conventional thinking that has permeated most running circles.

So, where did this magical number of 180 steps per minute come from? Let’s trace its origins.

Picture yourself transported back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, where a renowned exercise scientist named Jack Daniels was observing the world’s top runners. He meticulously studied their total stride rate and made an intriguing discovery. Among these elite athletes, the fastest and most efficient runners tended to maintain a cadence of at least 180 steps per minute, with some even soaring to 200 SPM.

However, here’s where the plot thickens. It seems that over time, both through personal experiences and careful examination of the research, it becomes evident that much of Daniels’ work has been taken out of context whenever the 180 SPM rule is mentioned. The story has been diluted, losing the nuances and individuality that make each runner unique.

You see, running cadence is a complex interplay of various factors, such as height, weight, fitness level, leg length, and personal biomechanics. What works for one runner may not necessarily work for another. We are like snowflakes, each with our own distinct rhythm and style.

Research papers and studies have begun to shed light on the reality of running cadence. They emphasize the importance of finding an optimal cadence that suits your own body and running mechanics. It’s about discovering the cadence that allows you to run efficiently, comfortably, and without injury.

The 180-SPM Debunked

While Jack Daniels’ findings have been influential, it’s important to remember that his conclusion is not a universal law engraved in stone. Recreation runners, this message is especially for you: the 180-SPM cadence is not a mandatory requirement imposed by the running gods.

Here’s the reality: the 180-SPM rule represents the statistical average of what is considered an efficient running cadence. It serves as a reference point, but it doesn’t mean you must strictly adhere to it. You won’t be breaking any “running commandments” if you take slightly more or fewer steps per minute. We’re all unique individuals with our own running styles and rhythms.

Recent studies have delved deeper into the world of cadence, shedding light on its intricacies. They reveal that cadence is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It’s influenced by a multitude of factors, such as pace, terrain, and individual biomechanics. We are all wonderfully diverse, and what works best for one runner or a group of elite Olympic athletes may not necessarily work for everyone else.

So, what should you do instead? Listen closely to the scientists in the field of biomechanics, my friend. They suggest measuring your current cadence and setting a realistic goal to increase it by five to ten percent. The focus is on gradual progress and finding your optimal cadence, even if it doesn’t align precisely with the magic number of 180 SPM.

Think of it as a journey of self-discovery. Just like tuning an instrument, you’re fine-tuning your running cadence to achieve harmony and efficiency. Embrace the joy of experimentation and improvement, knowing that your cadence is unique to you and your body’s capabilities.

Improving Your Running Cadence 

Now that you have a clear understanding of what cadence is as well as the many factors that affect it, you can work on improving it (if need be).

Here are a few guidelines that can help.

Find Your Running Cadence

To embark on this journey of improvement, you first need to determine your current leg turnover—the rhythm that fuels your stride.

Remember, your cadence isn’t a fixed number etched in stone. It varies depending on the type of run you’re tackling. When you’re pushing the pace during speedy training sessions, your cadence naturally tends to be quicker compared to your leisurely long runs. Uphill or downhill sections also influence your leg turnover, adding a flavorful twist to the mix.

To make sense of it all, let’s establish your cadence zones by uncovering your leg turnover for different paces and training scenarios. Whether it’s a recovery run, 5K training, tempo run, or even a marathon, each has their own unique cadence.

The Basic Run Cadence Test

Now, here’s a simple and practical way to determine your basic run cadence. Find yourself a smooth, flat surface that invites your running shoes to dance.

Once you’re warmed up and ready to roll, settle into your usual running pace. As you find your rhythm, start counting the number of foot strikes made by either your right or left foot in one minute. Yes, just focus on one foot for now to avoid confusion. Let’s keep it simple and straightforward.

For instance, let’s say your chosen foot strikes the ground a delightful 77 times within that minute. Now, here’s where the magic happens. Double that number to account for both feet, and voila! You’ve got yourself the total number of steps, which in this case would be 154.

So, for that specific running speed, your cadence is 154 steps per minute.

The Multi-Pace Cadence Test

Now, my running companion, let’s take our cadence exploration to the next level with the dynamic and invigorating Multi-Pace Cadence Test. This test will truly put your legs to the test and unveil the nuances of your stride at different paces.

To embark on this thrilling endeavor, find yourself a trusty treadmill to hop on. After a solid 10-minute warm-up to get those muscles firing, gradually increase the speed by 30 seconds per mile until you reach your easy training pace.

Once you’ve settled into your newfound speed, give yourself a couple of minutes to adjust and find your rhythm. Then, my friend, it’s time to start counting. For one whole minute, focus on the beauty of your foot strikes and tally up those steps.

Don’t forget to record the number of steps you took at that pace. It’s like capturing a fleeting moment of running magic, preserving it for future analysis and improvement. If you prefer the open embrace of a track, feel free to conduct the test there as well. However, treadmills offer a controlled environment that enhances accuracy, especially if you’re already acquainted with your average pace.

Increase Your Leg Turnover By 5 to 10 Percent

Now that you’ve gathered your numbers and become a connoisseur of your cadence, it’s time to embark on the journey of improvement. But remember, my eager friend, patience is the name of the game. Just like a delicate masterpiece, your cadence needs nurturing and gradual refinement.

According to the wisdom bestowed upon us by the researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the key to safe and efficient cadence improvement lies in small increments. So, let’s aim to increase your cadence by a humble 5 to 10 percent at a time. This measured approach ensures that your body adapts smoothly to the changes, reducing the risk of undue strain.

Let’s say your easy run cadence is currently at a charming 156spm. Your goal, my determined friend, is to elevate it to a range between 163 and 169 steps per minute. It’s like adding an extra sprinkle of energy to your stride, enhancing your running experience.

Add “Faster Cadence” Segments

Imagine this: you’re out on your favorite running route, the sun kissing your skin, and the wind whispering encouragement in your ears. As you set out, choose specific segments during your run where you’ll embrace your new leg turnover, like an adventurous detour from the familiar path.

For instance, you can start with one-minute intervals of slightly quicker cadence, followed by three to five minutes of your base rhythm. As you move through these intervals, let the rhythm guide you, finding the sweet spot between effort and grace.

Alternatively, you can opt for a distance-based approach. Picture this: every third mile becomes your canvas for exploration. During these designated miles, unleash your newfound leg turnover while maintaining the same effort level as before.

With consistent practice, these cadence segments will become second nature, effortlessly blending into the fabric of your runs. You’ll no longer need to consciously think about them; they’ll become ingrained in your muscle memory, like the fluid motion of a seasoned dancer or the effortless strokes of a master painter.

Your first session at this improved cadence might look as follows:

  • 10 minutes warm-up
  • One minute easy running at a cadence of 164
  • Five minute easy running at base cadence
  • One minute easy running at a cadence of 165
  • Five minute easy running at base cadence
  • One minute easy running at a cadence of 166
  • 5-minute cool-down.

Take Small Steps

I’m about to reveal a little secret to increasing your running cadence. It’s all about form, my friend. Picture this: imagine you’re a painter, and your stride is the brush that paints the canvas of the road. To create a masterpiece, you need to make some artful adjustments.

Now, here’s the thing: you won’t be able to boost your cadence by simply running faster. Instead, focus on reducing your stride length. Take smaller steps, like a gentle shuffle, keeping your feet closer to the ground. It’s as if your feet are engaged in a graceful dance, barely leaving a mark but still propelling you forward. Just remember to be cautious on trails and rugged terrains, as they might require a bit more lift.

I understand it might feel a tad awkward at first, like trying out a new dance move for the first time. But trust me, as you continue your training, this form adjustment will become second nature. You’ll embody the fluidity of a seasoned dancer, effortlessly gliding through each step.

Additional source – Here’s the full guide to average stride length.

Use a Cadence Metronome

I’ve got an exciting tool to aid you in this cadence adventure: the metronome. It’s like having your own personal conductor orchestrating the tempo of your run.

With a metronome, you no longer have to worry about counting your steps per minute. Simply set the device to your desired cadence, and let the rhythmic clicks or beats guide your stride.

Now, you might be wondering where to find this marvelous metronome. Fear not! In this modern era, there’s an app for everything, including metronomes tailored for runners like yourself.

Check out Audiostep, Cadence Trainer, or BeatRun for a digital metronome experience. If you’re sporting a fancy running watch, such as the Garmin 735XT, you might even find a built-in metronome feature right at your wrist.

Use the 180 Beats Songs

Let me share with you another clever trick to boost your cadence and make it more enjoyable. It involves the magical power of music. Picture yourself hitting the pavement, each step in perfect sync with the rhythm, as if you and the melody were one.

Here’s the plan: grab your trusty music player and start curating a playlist that will propel you towards your goal cadence. Aim for songs that have a tempo of around 180 beats per minute (bpm), or close to your desired cadence. Why? Because when your foot strikes align with the beats, something magical happens. Your body effortlessly falls into the rhythm, and your strides become as smooth as a well-choreographed dance routine.

Now, you might be wondering where to find such musical gems. Fear not! There are fantastic tools available to help you on this musical quest.

One option is to use online platforms like JogTunes, where you can explore playlists tailored to specific running cadences. These websites are treasure troves filled with songs that match a variety of cadences. So whether you’re a fan of upbeat pop, groovy hip-hop, or energizing rock, there’s a playlist waiting for you.

To make it even easier, you can also find programs that analyze songs and provide the beats per minute information. Simply feed your favorite tunes into these magical programs, and they will reveal the secrets of their tempo. It’s like having your own personal DJ and music researcher all in one.

Now, here’s the key: as you hit the road with your customized playlist, make sure to keep a steady pace. Let the music guide your feet, ensuring that every foot strike lands precisely on the beat. It’s a symphony of motion and melody, where your running transforms into a harmonious experience.

Practice Fast Cadence Drills

 If you’re seeking to kick your cadence up a notch, drill exercises are here to save the day.

Let me walk you through one drill that can make a real difference. Imagine yourself standing tall, ready to unleash your inner running machine. Assume an athletic stance, feet comfortably apart, core engaged, and back straight. It’s time to get those arms involved too, just like you would while running.

Start by marching in place, swinging your arms with purpose. Feel the rhythm, let your body loosen up. Once you’ve got the hang of it, pick up the pace and transition into a jog. Lift those knees high, powerfully driving your arms across your body. Now, here’s where the magic happens—run in place as fast as you can, as if your feet were dancing on hot coals.

Remember, speed is the name of the game during these drills. Embrace the challenge, push your limits, and feel the surge of energy as your legs move with lightning speed. Keep your posture upright, gazing forward rather than fixating on your feet. Let your knees point straight ahead, while your heels gently kiss the ground.

But wait, there’s more! I have three additional drills that I swear by, each with its own unique flavor of awesomeness.

Let’s dive in!

First up is the Drum Major drill, a true conductor of cadence mastery. Check out the video for a visual demonstration. This drill will have you stepping forward with your right foot and driving your left arm forward simultaneously. Then, switch it up by stepping forward with your left foot and driving your right arm forward. It’s like leading an imaginary marching band, orchestrating the perfect rhythm for your legs.

Next, we have the Butt Kicks drill. Prepare to unleash your inner sprinter as you jog forward, lifting your heels towards your glutes with each step. Feel the gentle kick of your heels brushing against your backside, reminding you of the power you possess.

Last but not least, we have the High Knees drill. This one is all about embracing the joy of elevation. As you jog forward, bring those knees up towards the sky, reaching for new heights with every stride. Feel the energy surging through your body as your legs soar through the air, defying gravity itself.

Do Workouts That Require Faster Leg Turnover

Workouts that demand a faster leg turnover are like secret weapons in your training arsenal, helping you unlock the hidden potential of your stride rate. But before we dive in, a word of caution: like any powerful tool, they must be handled with care. Bad form or lack of conditioning can increase the risk of injury, so be mindful as you embark on this exhilarating journey.


Let’s start with strides, the burst of energy that can ignite your running prowess. Picture this: you’ve just completed your regular workout, feeling the satisfaction of a job well done. Now it’s time to push yourself further. Begin by accelerating rapidly, giving it your all at 80 to 90 percent of maximum effort. Each stride should last around 20 to 30 seconds, just enough to leave a blazing trail behind you.

To incorporate strides into your routine, simply add them at the end of your workout. As you embark on those final moments of exertion, channel your focus into lightning-fast leg turnover and a powerful arm drive. Give it your all for those precious seconds, feeling the surge of energy propelling you forward. Then, grant yourself a well-deserved two-minute recovery before repeating the exhilarating process.

Start with four strides a couple of times per week, gradually building up your capacity. After three to four weeks of dedication, amp it up to six or eight strides. These mini-explosions of speed will train your muscles to react and move with agility, naturally improving your stride rate.

Downhill Sprints

Now, let’s venture into the realm of downhill sprints, where technique meets velocity.

Imagine standing atop a hill, the world stretching out before you, ready to be conquered. After a thorough warm-up on a flat surface to awaken your muscles, seek out a hill with a gradient incline of 4 to 6 percent.

As you embark on the descent, let gravity guide your speed, gradually accelerating until you reach maximum velocity at the hill’s end.

But here’s the key: resist the temptation to overstride. Instead, focus on reducing your stride length, allowing for a swift and nimble turnover.

Once you’ve completed your sprint, take a gentle jog or walk back to the top, allowing your body to recover before diving into another exhilarating round.

Engage in this thrilling dance between gravity and speed for 15 to 20 minutes, immersing yourself in the invigorating challenge. Remember, the goal is not only to enhance your technique but also to increase your leg turnover, paving the way for a more efficient stride.

As you embark on these workouts, keep in mind the importance of balance and moderation. Monitor your form, listen to your body, and gradually build up your capacity.

Take Your Time

Just as we navigate life’s challenges, taking measured steps can be the key to success. Rushing headlong into uncharted territory often leads to regrets and setbacks. The same principle applies to improving your running cadence—it’s a journey that requires patience, time, and a sprinkle of scientific know-how.

Let’s face it: boosting your running cadence is not exactly rocket science. However, it’s not a task you can conquer in a single bound. Think of it as a delicate dance between your body and the rhythm of your strides. Attempting to force an overnight transformation in your cadence is like trying to soar to the moon without the proper rocket fuel—you’re bound to crash and burn.

Instead, I implore you to embrace the concept of gradual progress. Give yourself the gift of time—several months, in fact—to allow your body to adapt to the new cadence.

It’s during this period of adaptation that the real magic happens, as your muscles, tendons, and proprioceptive system align themselves to the rhythm of your aspirations.

Research studies have shown that a full transition and adaptation to a faster cadence typically takes around six to eight weeks. Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, your body will undergo a beautiful metamorphosis.

During this transformative journey, it will require unwavering focus and unyielding commitment from you. Picture yourself as a conductor of an orchestra, guiding the symphony of your movements. As you refine your stride rate, don’t forget to pay attention to the harmonious interplay of your knee drive and foot landing. Think of it as conducting a symphony, with each note (or step) contributing to the grand composition.

Maintaining proper knee drive allows your legs to generate power, propelling you forward with grace and vigor. Imagine the sweeping motion of a pendulum, each swing elevating you to new heights. And as you land, aim for a midfoot strike beneath your body, like a skilled tightrope walker finding balance on a thin wire. This technique minimizes the stress on your joints and maximizes your running efficiency.

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The Conclusion

What I like about cadence is that it’s a straightforward concept.

Regardless of your current fitness level or training goals, you can always benefit from increasing your cadence.

Of course, it might feel odd during the first few sessions, but with practice and patience you can find your ideal training cadence and reap the benefits of increased running speed and reduced injury.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for reading my post

David D.